Engineers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have spent the last 20 years developing highly compliant, fatigue-resistant mooring elements for power and data transmission – from surface to seafloor, in order to meet the challenging requirements for ocean systems ranging from delicate sensing instruments to power transmission. EOM Offshore (EOM) is a startup company founded in 2009 to commercialise key specialised mooring technologies resulting from that work, and remains the exclusive licensed distributor for patented stretch hose technology. Stretch hose moorings are capable

of stretching and contracting to accommodate wave action (heave and surge) and are currently revolutionising mooring-reliant projects and industries worldwide, not only by providing mechanically silent, electrically conductive moorings for hydrophone and other sensitive listening installations, but also by extending mooring lifetimes due to the extended resistance of the stretch moorings to wave action fatigue.


A primary user of the EOM stretch hose technology is the National Science Foundation-funded Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), a long term, integrated infrastructure project composed of science-driven platforms and sensor systems that measure physical, chemical, geological and biological properties and processes from the seafloor to the air-sea interface. A WHOI-led team has designed and deployed global buoys and gliders at four OOI Global Arrays, to address planetary-scale issues in critical high- latitude locations in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Additionally, the WHOI team led the design and deployment of buoys and gliders at the Coastal Pioneer Array off the coast of New England. EOM’s

PAGE 12 Credit image – photo by Paul Matthias

John Kemp Recovering an OOI Offshore Surface Mooring at the Pioneer Array.

Electromechanical Stretch Hoses are employed in these moorings, ensuring the reliable flow of real-time data. The design of the Coastal Surface Moorings includes a fully electromechanical mooring riser to collect oceanographic data from the surface all the way to the seafloor. The design also makes use of specialised interface components such as EOM Mooring Universal Joints and EOM Electromechanical Mooring Chains. Coastal Profiler Moorings provide

real-time telemetry from wire-following profilers sampling the water column. A large subsurface sphere is positioned to maintain a taut cable for the wire- following profiler to track along, while the Mooring Stretch Hose provides a compliant electromechanical connection between the subsurface sphere and the small surface telemetry buoy.

The OOI programme is designed to provide consistent and accurate data as a resource for scientists working on critical issues and the EOM mooring components are playing an important role in ensuring the accurate and continuous real-time transmission of data to shore from instruments and sensors in the ocean.


EOM’s Passive Acoustic Moorings enable detection of marine mammal vocalisations with real-time telemetry and are currently being used to aid the endangered North Atlantic right whale. Feeding while drifting at the surface, right whales frequently can get hit by passing ships causing severe injury or death. The whales communicate actively underwater with low frequency moaning sound bursts. Listening from shore to the right

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