Proposal Number: 1115033 Institution: University of Washington PI: W. Wilcock Co-PI: D. Russell

This proposal requests two Shipboard Scientific Support items for the University of Washington for use aboard the R/V THOMAS G. THOMPSON; namely a replacement winch drum and up-grades to the ship?s internal camera system. These items will either enhance safety and/or provide greatly improved support capabilities to science.

Broader Impact and Intellectual Merit: The PI addressed the Broader Impacts and Intellectual Merit of the proposed equipment specifically for the R/V THOMPSON and BARNES. The research projects supported have been individually peer-reviewed for scientific merit. The University of Washington vessels support federally funded scientific research throughout the world?s oceans to expand human knowledge of the ocean environment. During operations, the vessels routinely expose graduate and undergraduate students to seagoing oceanography through the ?Teachers at Sea? program, real-time satellite connectivity from ship to shore, and University open house events. All told, the THOMPSON and BARNES are scheduled to complete over 130 NSF sponsored days in 2011.

Project Report

The University of Washington operates two oceanographic research vessels which are both part of the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) fleet: R/V Thomas G. Thompson, a 274-foot Global Class research vessel owned by the U.S. Navy and R/V Clifford A. Barnes, a 65-foot Local Class research vessel owned by the National Science Foundation. Through Shipboard Scientific Support Equipment grants the National Science Foundation invests in upgrades to the scientific outfitting of these, and all UNOLS fleet vessels, in order to maintain the ability of the ships to support todays and tomorrows oceanographic research. For 2011 the University of Washington sought funding under the SSSE grant program and was funded to upgrade two scientific support systems onboard R/V Thompson. Winch Wire Drum: The wire drum for the installed 50-HP DESH-5 hydrographic winch system was starting to exhibit problems with the level wind system. Close inspection revealed that the drum flanges were starting to spread resulting in improper laying in of the cable during recoveries especially during deep casts. Deployment of instruments via the hydrographic winches on R/V Thompson is an essential element of the support the ship provides to embarked science parties. Funding for the purchase of a new winch drum constructed by the Original Equipment Manufacturer was requested. The new drum was manufactured by Markey Machinery Company and was installed on R/V Thompson after new 0.322-inch electro-mechanical wire (procured separately by NSF) was spooled on in May 2012. The winch has operated satisfactorily for numerous deployments since without problem. The new winch drum cost $26,775 to manufacture. Closed Circuit Television System: The closed circuit camera system (CCTV) installed on R/V Thompson has been found to be not supportable, unreliable, harder to keep operational, and did not provide sufficient coverage to enable completely safe and efficient operation of the ship by the Master, Winch Operators, the Marine Technicians, and the embarked science parties. UW proposed to install a new state of the market camera system including cameras, cabling, and the associated control system would be installed to better cover operating deck areas, over the side cable deployment (enables monitoring of cable angles, presence of obstructions, and proximity of gear to the vessel hull and the water surface). Installation of a new reliable, more capable system would reduce the risk of damage to scientific gear while enhancing the safety of deck personnel. With funding provided by NSF, UW Marine Technicians, and with assistance with a video system expert, designed, procured and installed a new CCTV system. The new system provides higher resolution video images throughout the ship and affords expandability for future growth to afford better monitoring of the ship by ship’s crew, the Marine Technicians, and embarked Science Parties. UW expended $43,968 to procure all the components for the new closed circuit television system that includes the purchase of spare parts to ensure supportability of the system when the ship is deployed for oceanographic research cruises.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE)
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Matthew J. Hawkins
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University of Washington
United States
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