The University of Washington is leading the effort to develop the Regional Scale Nodes (RSN) component of the National Science Foundation's Ocean Observatories Initiative. This cabled underwater research facility is constructed off the Oregon and Washington coastlines.

The RSN will extend continuous high-bandwidth (tens of Gigabits/second) and power (tens of kilowatts) to a network of instruments widely distributed across, above, and below the seafloor in the northeast Pacific Ocean.

The RSN, together with the Canadian NEPTUNE Canada network, will form the world's first ocean observatory to span a tectonic plate. The facility will provide a constant stream of data in real time from throughout the water, on the seafloor, and below the seafloor associated with the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate.