A new VENUS web site will be launched in December 2005 with live data feeds and under-water imagery.

Welcome to the Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea


VENUS: A Coastal Ocean Observatory

Read about our new web site.

4:45 AM PST February 8, 2006: VENUS Is Up and Running!
On February 7, 2006 the first suite of VENUS oceanographic instruments were deployed in Saanich Inlet (see sequence of photos below). After careful inspection by the GMSL ROV, the oil-filled connection hose was pulled to the VENUS Node, and all the Node ports were tested. All systems worked flawlessly, including the initial eight instruments on the VIP. At 4:45 AM February 8, 2006, the VIP was plugged into port 1 and power was brought up, signifying the official launch of the VENUS Observatory. This also starts a "burn-in" test period, during which time the OceanWorks engineers will monitor system performance and the VENUS DMAS staff will finalize testing of data retrieval from the shore station and storage on the UVic servers, as well as the generation of automatic data plots and data products. First plots should be available within a few days!

A Huge THANK YOU to all those who have participated to make this happen!

The VENUS Instrument Platform (VIP) is lowered into Saanich Inlet. Feb. 7, 2006. The VENUS Instrument Platform (VIP) is lowered into Saanich Inlet. Feb. 7, 2006. The VENUS Instrument Platform (VIP) is lowered into Saanich Inlet. Feb. 7, 2006. The VENUS Instrument Platform (VIP) is lowered into Saanich Inlet. Feb. 7, 2006. The VENUS Instrument Platform (VIP) is lowered into Saanich Inlet. Feb. 7, 2006.


February 6, 2006, 8 PM PST: We're In The Water!
The node has been deployed and the cable installation is complete. Below are some photos from Monday February 6 during the cable lay. The Cable Ship Wave Venture deployed the Node at 6 AM and then laid the cable to shore. The "messenger" (pull line) and cable were floated under buoys. After positioning, the floats were cut free and the post lay survey was started. The deployment of the first instrument suite is planned for early February 7.

The UVic R/V John Strickland and the GMSL Wave Venture, Feb. 6, 2006. The Dive Boat along the suspended cable and messager. The floats along the cable route just before sunset, Feb. 6, 2006 The R/V Strickland and Wave Venture starting post-lay surveys, Feb. 6, 2006

February 4, 2006: Saanich Inlet Deployment Immanent:
The VENUS project is busy preparing for the deployment of the Saanich Inlet array. OceanWorks is now in the final stages of testing the first VENUS Node, SIIMs and Instruments, and Global Marine Systems has scheduled their cable laying vessel The Wave Venture to install the cable and node on February 6, 2006. Several engineering challenges (power supply and ground fault detection circuitry) delayed our original early November deployment, however, the delays have provided vital improvements to the systems which are being thoroughly tested. Initial instrument suites (CTD, ADCP, ZAP, digital camera, hydrophones, etc.) are being prepared by the VENUS technical staff, and data product and retrieval tools are under development by the VENUS and NEPTUNE DMAS team. Deployment of the first comprehensive instrument systems is scheduled for February 2006 using the CSSF ROPOS remotely operated vehicle. Once "operating" (Feb. 2006), live data feeds will be available on the web page. The launch of a new, exciting, and more comprehensive web page with access to plots of all the data, imagery, acoustics, and a searchable database will follow in March/April.

The VENUS Instrument Platform ready for deployment. The VENUS Node Pod (left) and Node Base (right). The VENUS Node in the Wave Venture ready for deployment

Deployment of the Saanich Inlet observatory array will be initiated during the weekend of February 5-6, 2006. The in-water portion of the array will be on-board the Wave Venture. This includes the armoured fibre optic cable and the VENUS node, which represents the "socket" for observatory instruments. First, the node will be lowered to a designated site within the VENUS observatory permit area at approximately 100 m depth in Saanich Inlet. The 3.5 km cable will be pulled ashore to an observatory shore station a the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Patricia Bay. The shore station will provide the infrastructure with power and a back-haul connection to the Internet. The electronics housed in the node will distribute 400 VDC power and 100 MB Ethernet communications to up to 8 wet-mateable instrument ports. Instrument suites will then be deployed at specific sites of scientific interest in the area of the node and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) will be used to connect the instruments to the node. Initial instruments will include a conductivity, temperature and depth (CTD) unit for measuring temperature, salinity and pressure, an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) for measuring currents, a Zooplankton Acoustic Profiler (ZAP) for mapping the vertical distribution of zooplankton, a high-resolution digital camera for studying marine organisms, and a broadband ambient sound hydrophone array for studying marine mammal vocalizations. From the Network Operations Centre within the VENUS offices at UVic, the observatory infrastructure and connected instruments will be powered-up, tested, controlled, and monitored. Data and images from the sensors will be archived by the joint Data Management and Archive System (DMAS) of the VENUS and NEPTUNE Projects. Access to the observatory instruments and data will "go-live" over the Internet in March, 2006.



December 1, 2005: OceanWorks Site Visit
Photos of the VENUS node and SIIM components taken during a recent VENUS site visit of the OceanWorks facility in North Vancouver.


November 25, 2005: OPEN RFP for the Vertical Profiler System (VPS).
The University of Victoria has a requirement for the detailed design, fabrication and acceptance testing of the VENUS Project Vertical Profiler System as outlined in the Request For Proposals #287. Closing date for this RFP is 2 PM January 13, 2006. Details of the RFP and the RFP WORD document(s) are available at the BC Bid web site, follow the links on the right to "Browse for Bid Opportunities", and find University of Victoria listed under "Browse Opportunities by Organization".


Courtesy of Adrian Raeside. VENUS Display on the Wave Venture, Nov 16, 2005.
November 16, 2005: Media Event November 16, 2005 A very successful Media Promotional event was held on GMSL's Wave Veture on November 16, 2005. Check out the News Room web page for additional information and photos from the event.




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VENUS Users Guide
VENUS Users Guide (June, 2005: PDF, 900kB)

Sept 1, 2005
Summer 2005 Newsletter (PDF)

May 25, 2005
Spring 2005 Newsletter (PDF)

May 20, 2005
The VENUS Project is pleased to announce the signing of a major contract for installation of the cabled observatory Node in Saanich Inlet. The University of Victoria, on behalf of the VENUS Project, and Global Marine Systems Ltd, representing its Canadian partner Ocean Works International signed the agreement on May 20, 2005. The Saanich Inlet installation will take place in the first week of October 2005. The newly designed seafloor Node will offer many enhancements over initial plans, including higher communication rates, higher instrument capacity, and improved maintainability. A follow-on contract to build and install the array in the Strait of Georgia is now under negotiation. Due to budgetary constraints, however, the VENUS array in Juan de Fuca Strait will not be installed at the present time. for additional information on the infrastructure and instrument planned for Saanich Inlet and the Strait of Georgia, please visit the dedicated array links on the main menu.

March 14, 2005
Winter 2005 Newsletter (PDF)

June 25, 2004
The latest version (1.1) of the VENUS System Design Documents have been posted for general interest.

June 22, 2004
A Science Workshop was held on June 22, 2004 at IOS to review the scientific interests in Saanich Inlet and discuss the deployment of the first VENUS array this fall. A summary of the Saanich Inlet Workshop is available for review. It provides a list of addendees and a table briefly summarizing the interests of various groups. If you would like to receive information regarding upcoming workshops, please send an email to VENUS

Sea Anenomies in Saanich Inlet near VENUS Node [100 m] June 21, 2004
The VENUS team is proud to post the first draft of the VENUS Users Guide (PDF, 900kB). This document will provide preliminary information as to how to participate in the VENUS project. It includes an overview of the project, and how scientists will be able to write VENUS activities into their research proposals, design and built observatory instruments, test and deploy instruments, and how to access the observatory data. Comments and questions are strongly encouraged, as this document will evolve to meet the needs of the VENUS community.