New CTD Profiler and Water Sampling System Now Available for Research and Educational Use on the R/V Gulf Challenger

CTD Profiler and Water Sampling System
Thursday, December 12, 2013

With support through a $103,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Field Stations and Marine Laboratories (FSML) program to Jonathan Pennock, Doug Vandemark and Jim Irish, UNH now has a new CTD Profiler and Water Sampling Rosette available for research and educational use on the R/V Gulf Challenger.

The system includes a Sea-Bird Electronics (SBE) 25Plus CTD, an SBE-55 Sampling Rosette with six four-liter Niskin bottles, a dedicated Hawboldt Industries SPR 1424/S Science winch, and a SBE-33 real-time monitoring and sampling deck unit. The system provides high resolution vertical profiling of hydrographic properties (e.g. conductivity, salinity, temperature), physiochemical properties (e.g. pH and Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR)), and surrogates for biological and geological processes (e.g. dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll-a fluorescence and beam transmittance) that are an essential component of oceanographic field research. 

The winch is outfitted with 400 meters of armored coax conducting wire that will allow profiling to the bottom anywhere within the Gulf of Maine (a maximum of 330 m depth). The unit will allow researchers to observe the CTD profile data in real time, and trip water sample bottles at optimal depths on the up-cast.  An altimeter allows the system to be lowered safely to within 0.5 meter of the bottom without danger of hitting bottom and provides data to the researcher on a real-time computer monitor, as well as to the winch operator through a remote depth/altitude readout at the winch station.

As part of the proposal, the use of this system will be at no cost to the user for 2014-15 in order to stimulate the use of the system for research and education.  After 2015, a fee structure will be developed that will support the calibration and maintenance of the system.  Users will be required to provide all data collected using this system to a common, publically accessible data server for research and educational use.

 If you are interested in using this system, please contact Jim Irish and also note your desire to use the system when you schedule trips on the Gulf Challenger.