Specially-built scientific research equipment is required for any surveys on land and sea. However, scientists who must explore the depths of the ocean need very specific devices that will help them complete their work. Research can be very involved, and these devices are often made to fall to very low depths, to withstand the pressure of the ocean, and to film anything that is found when light does not reach that low. Ordering a custom-made rig can completely change the way a survey is completed, the information that is collected, and the safety of the crew. Consider what is needed before leaving the dock.
What Is A CTD & Sonar Winch System?
CTD stands for Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth. These three measurements are used during surveys to judge the environment in which a study is done. Scientists need to know how low they have gone, what the relative temperature is, and what the general salinity of the water is. These three measurements often lead a scientific mission because they determine what the next steps will be for the crew.
The CTD array that is made for the project is often set on a large cage that allows space for each device. These arrays are designed to use many independent devices to collect information. Plus, these arrays must be made in a sprawling style so that instruments do not interfere with one another. The array is rated for depth, and the array will be hauled by a special sonar winch attached to the vessel used for the expedition.
The winch must be powerful enough to pull any device to the surface including a specially-built ROV. The ROV that was made for the expedition may have a number of lights and cameras attached, and all these things are included in the data-collection package.
What Is An ROV (Remote Operated Underwater Vehicle)
A remotely operated vehicle is any submarine that will dive below the surface without any pilots. The pilot is running the machine with a special remote control that is managed on the vessel used for the voyage. The ROV usually has cameras and lights attached. There are times when equipment could be attached to an ROV, but this is not as common. When the ROV is built, it is weight-rated so that the scientists know if their winch can haul something so heavy. The smallest of these devices can be laid in the water by hand, but larger craft must be managed without only the strongest winches.
The ROV must be balanced with all the lights and cameras taken into consideration. This is a very simple thing to do when the device has been built custom for the scientific team. An ROV is only one part of an expedition, but these machines have the biggest range of anything that is taken on the voyage.
How Are These Devices Created?
The devices that are built for a new expedition are built with very specific dimensions that are usually provided by the buyer. A team of scientists already knows what they need, and this will include a size/device arrangement for the CTD winch unit. The team will likely ask for lights that work at a certain depth, and the vessel can be built with enough power to dive to very low depths. Most of these devices can dive to something on the order of 6000 meters.
Planning for a major scientific expedition must be done in conjunction with a company that can build all the devices needed for testing and exploration. An ROV can be made, a sonar winch can be attached to the boat, and a CTD array can be built with as many instruments as are needed to collect data.