A request is made to fund additional and back-up instrumentation on the R/V Thomas Thompson, a 274? general purpose Global research vessel and the R/V Clifford Barnes, a 66? general purpose Coastal vessel. Both vessels are operated by the University of Washington as part of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System research fleet. The request includes four items listed by priority:

1) Meteorological sensor suite for R/V Thompson 2) Meteorological sensor suite for R/V Barnes 3) 300 Khz ADCP, hull-mounted on R/V Thompson 4) 150 kHz Lowered-ADCP for use on either ship, plus battery pack

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.

Project Report

This award funded the purchase of a Teledyne RDI vessel-mounted 300 kHz Workhorse Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (WHVM300 adcp) for the R/V Thomas G. Thompson, and it also funded meteorological sensor suites and associated data acquisition upgrades for both the R/V Thomas G. Thompson and R/V Clifford A. Barnes. The adcp frequency of the new unit allows us to supplement the data we can collect with our previously installed 75 kHz adcp. We can now make measurements closer to the surface and with higher resolution than we can with the lower frequency instrument. This is particularly important in near shore coastal environments where near-surface currents and eddies caused by wind patterns and river inputs would be missed if we only had the 75 kHz instrument. The measurements are useful in understanding the environmental conditions that define local ecosystems and affect biological interactions. Many of our meteorological instruments were obsolete, unable to be repaired or recalibrated, and some were no longer working. We replaced some sensors, added an ultrasonic wind sensor, obtained a rain gauge, and upgraded our long and short wave radiation sensors to enable us to make those measurements into the future. We also replaced air temperature, relative humidity, and barometric pressure sensors on the Barnes that had either failed or were no longer reliable. Over the last two years we have changed our data acquisition software for meteorological data to implement the NOAA-developed Scientific Computer System (SCS) on both of our vessels, and we also used funds from this award to upgrade the computers, cabling, switches, and connectors for our computers and sensors to allow this more modern software to run and interface with the new sensors. This software also allows us to easily send daily observations to the SAMOS project, which gathers similar data from many vessels to use in weather forecasts and climate projections.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE)
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Program Officer
James S. Holik
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University of Washington
United States
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