A request is made to fund additional and back-up instrumentation for the R/V Savannah. The R/V Savannah is a 92 foot coastal research vessel operated by Skidaway Institute of Oceanography as part of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) research fleet. The request includes three items listed by priority:
1) Upgrade of Data Acquisition System 2) Sampling components for multi-corer system 3) Acoustic deck unit
Broader Impacts: The principal impact of the present proposal is under criterion two, providing infrastructure support for scientists to use the vessel and its shared-use instrumentation in support of their NSF-funded oceanographic research projects (which individually undergo separate review by the relevant research program of NSF). The acquisition, maintenance and operation of shared-use instrumentation allows NSF-funded researchers from any US university or lab access to working, calibrated instruments for their research, reducing the cost of that research, and expanding the base of potential researchers.
The award funded several items of oceanographic instrumentation for the research vessel, R/V Savannah, that is operated by the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. This 92-foot vessel supports a range of research and education projects, primarily in the estuarine, coastal and shelf waters off the Southeast U.S. The R/V Savannah is part of the NSF University National Oceanographic Laboratories (UNOLS) research fleet. In 2011, fourteen separate projects (nine funded by NSF programs) utilized the vessel for a total of 140 days in the field. The funded instrumentation consisted of: 1) upgrades to a number of components of the shipâ€™s core science data acquisition system; 2) components of a multi-core sediment sampling system; 3) a "deck box" (control unit) for an underwater acoustic communications system. Following delivery, the systems were configured and tested by the shipâ€™s Marine Technician, and made available to ship users as part of the vesselâ€™s shared-use inventory of oceanographic equipment. The upgrades to the shipâ€™s data acquisition system have been employed on all cruises since installation. This system acquires and displays data collected from the shipâ€™s navigational system, fathometer, meteorological sensors, acoustic Doppler current profiler, and an underway flow-through system (measuring surface water properties). Real-time displays are available in the shipâ€™s dry and wet labs and on the bridge (the bridge display being part of this upgrade). A sheave monitoring system also provides wire payout and tension information in real-time to the operator of the shipâ€™s CTD winch that is used for profiling and water sampling operations. The multi-corer sampling components are used with a multi-corer frame that was purchased by Savannah State University and has been made available to the shipâ€™s complement of shared-use instrumentation. The acoustic deck box provides a system suitable for communications with a number of acoustically controlled instruments, notably acoustic releases that are used during the deployment and recovery of moored instrument packages. The funded items have been incorporated into the oceanographic instrumentation of the R/V Savannah and will be utilized in a range of research and education applicati