Continuous marine environment monitoring is one of the main scientific topic for the oceanographic community involved in the analysis of climate changes and in the implementation of coupled ocean-atmosphere models. However, the space-time scale of the physical phenomena to be investigated, the need of resources and adverse meteo-marine conditions make difficult collecting long time series of in-situ data. Several efforts are made all over the world to improve quantity, quality and availability of observations at sea using remote and fixed or floating platforms. These are the only systems which allow to collect long term in-situ data even under heavy sea conditions and are of support for a lot of operational ocean activities, such as fisheries, recreational boating, natural hazards warnings, search and rescue operations, marine activities, as well as scientific inquiry, and for the calibration and validation of remote sensed data. In this framework, the paper shows the achieved results analyzing all the time series collected by the W1-M3A off-shore observatory moored at 40 nautical miles from the Genoa coasts, in the center of the Ligurian basin on a deep sea bed of 1250 m. The W1-M3A open sea observatory is fully operational since 2003, except for three years during which it was partially refitted. Its multi annual time series are used for studies on air-sea interaction processes, ocean variability and biological monitoring as well as for the validation of satellite measurements and numerical model outputs. The obtained results demonstrate the multidisciplinary nature of the system and its capability to observe the physical processes involving both atmosphere and ocean, and to monitor the ecosystem surrounding it. © 2013 IEEE.
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