A request is made to fund additional and back-up instrumentation on the R/V Roger Revelle, a 273? general purpose Global vessel; the R/V Melville, a 279?general purpose Global vessel; the R/V New Horizon, a 170?, general purpose, Intermediate vessel and the R/V Sproul, a 125? general purpose Regional vessel. All four vessels are operated by Scripps Institute of Oceanography as part of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System research fleet. The request includes five items listed by priority:
1) Shipboard Network Upgrades 2) MicroK-100 Termperature Bridge 3) TrackLink 5000 USBL 4) Lowered ADCP (2 systems) 5) Pumps for AA-III AutoAnalyser (3)
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.
This grant provided funding for purchase of new instrumentation for use primarily on the four ships operated by Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO): R/V Roger Revelle, R/V Melville, R/V New Horizon, and R/V Robert Gordon Sproul. These instruments support research carried out aboard those ships, although the instrumentation is also made available for use on other US ships where such loans can be scheduled so as not to conflict with needs on the SIO ships. Data collected with this instrumentation falls under the proprietary use of the Principal Investigator funded to lead the research cruise. Since much data is collected routinely, it is often the case that the Principal Investigator is not concerned with exclusive use of the data. In that case, and also when the period of proprietary access has expired, the data is submitted to national archives. Thus, the data becomes available to the general academic community and the public at large. All instrumentation requested was an upgrade or enhancement of systems already operated by the department (Shipboard Technical Support, or STS). They were sought to provide higher reliability and higher data quality than could be provided with the existing inventory of equipment. The departmentâ€™s existing resources of skilled technicians, tools, technical documentation and repair facilities are used in the calibration and preventative maintenance for this new instrumentation. New network hardware was purchased to improve the reliability of acquisition, distribution, display and storage of data during oceanographic research cruises and communication of data and other vital information (e.g. port documents) to and from shore facilities. The architecture of underway data systems on SIO ships is configured such that every instrument (e.g. echosounder) is directly interfaced to an acquisition computer. Raw data are stored locally on that computer and then every few minutes the data are synced to a central server. The data on the acquisition computer are preserved untouched until the end of the cruise. This plan of redundant data sets minimizes the risk of data loss due to hardware failure. The network improvements increased the speed at which data are transferred from acquisition computer to central server, while preserving the existing redundancy. The department maintains and utilizes three AutoAnalyzer III (AA-III) systems for seagoing and shore based oceanographic nutrient chemistry. The AA-III has become the industry standard and is used by numerous laboratories (e.g. University of Hawaii, Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences). Sea going chemists endeavor to perform nutrient analyses on 100 – 120 samples during a 12-hour watch, which is achievable if all is working well. The new pumps purchased under this grant significantly reduced the risk of down time of nutrient analyses during a research cruise. The department also maintains and operates a pressure and temperature Calibration Laboratiory, with a full complement of equipment and standards. In addition to using the facility ourselves, we also offer services to the oceanographic community at large and have provided CTD calibration services to many investigators in the US and abroad (e.g. Germany, UK, Norway, Russia). STS has worked with engineers from CTD manufacturers (i.e. Neil Brown, Falmouth Scientific and Sea-Bird Electronics) in developing our calibration procedures. Our instrument for temperature calibration had been in use since 1994. After extensive market research, a replacement temperature bridge was selected. With funds from this grant, an Isotech MicroK-100 was purchased. This has improved the reliability and accuracy of temperature calibrations.