Magazine article Oceanus

Have Crossbow, Will Travel to Track Down Ocean Devices

Magazine article Oceanus

Have Crossbow, Will Travel to Track Down Ocean Devices

Article excerpt

When a Neutrally Buoyant Sediment Trap surfaces after a three- to five-day particle-collecting mission in the ocean depths, "only its orange cap is visible, about the size of a 2-liter bottle of Coke," said Jim Valdes, an engineer at WHOI, "a proverbial needle in a haystack."

"Couple this with a 6- to 10-foot swell and a wind of 35 or more knots producing whitecaps and blowing water, and you'll have some idea of how daunting a task finding an NBST can be," he said.

"The engineers at Woods Hole, with years of seagoing experience, designed a number of recovery aids into our NBSTs," Valdes said. "They knew that locating an NBST after deployment would not be trivial."

Scientists use an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler onboard ship to monitor the speed and direction of subsurface currents that have carried the NBST. They estimate where the NBST will surface and steer the ship in that direction.

At the surface, the NBST turns on an internal Global Positioning System receiver and then sends its position to the ship via a series of satellite relays. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.