Getting the Most Out of Your Marine Scientific Research Equipment

Posted by Allison Smith on March 15th, 2021

If you are going to do research on the seas, you will need marine scientific research equipment in your possession if you want to make any headway whatsoever. Marine science is a very vast field of study encompassing marine environmental studies, marine biology, meteorology and weather patterns, ocean current modeling, marine technologies, and even paleontological ocean history. Chances are, you aren’t an expert at all of these fields (if you are, I would be very impressed!). However, there are experts in each of these fields, as well as business people, entrepreneurs, and government agents who need to interact with these fields in order to conduct their business. These are the types of people who benefit from knowing the basics as well as the benefits of high tech marine science equipment. You may not know personally how to use an umbilical winch, but if you know the basics of the equipment you are going to use then you will be better prepared to work on a marine scientific deployment in any capacity.

Doing a little marine equipment homework never hurt anyone (on a boat in the middle of the ocean)!

To do a little homework, you can actually get a lot of the relevant information about these pieces of equipment online. If you want to know visually how something like an acoustic doppler current profiler works, then you can type the phrase into Google and get a few decent visual models. If you are more old-fashioned and want to find books on this equipment, going to a local library, bookstore or Barnes and Noble maybe your best bet (if any are open near you during the pandemic!). Finally, if you watch online tutorials for these equipment, you will also be in a better position to perform deployments.

How to Locate Your Roving Underwater Vehicles: A Quick Guide to the Ultra Short Baseline and Other Equipment

Stepping into the specifics for a minute: equipment like the ultra short baseline will help define your ability to succeed in any marine scientific capacity on the oceans. This little piece of equipment does a lot for deployment in terms of underwater position. Essentially, you will have a transceiver attached to the bottom of your boat for the position. Then, when you drop down an ROV or other sort of roving underwater vehicle to the bottom of the ocean, then you will be able to tell where that piece of equipment is in relation to your boat. The ROV/equipment you drop will have a transponder, which will respond to the acoustic pulses sent by the transceiver on your ship. Involved also is the idea of the “range,” which the machines calculate themselves. Essentially, the acoustic pulse produces a range that can be converted into a distance, letting you know how far your boat is from the item bouncing sound off of it. 

With the help of a baseline, you can determine exactly how far your device is from your boat, and how far your boat is from the seafloor.

If you want to get the most out of your marine scientific research equipment, the bottom line is that research and leg-work matter. If you can figure out the basics, you will be a lot better prepared for the currents and waves once you hit the seas.

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Allison Smith

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Allison Smith
Joined: September 13th, 2019
Articles Posted: 9

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