MARS node description

Main Components of MARS

MARS consists of a single, trawl resistant node located approximately 900 meters below the sea surface at the end of a 51 km submarine cable. Extension cables allow scientists to place instruments up to 4 km away from the node.
Science Instrument Interface Modules were designed by MBARI to provide easier connection for instruments. These designs are available to MARS users.
Some details on the MARS science node are listed below.

Primary Ports

Instrument Port

Data Port

  • IEEE 802.3 10/100 Base-T using IP protocol.
  • Science Instrument Interface Modules (SIIMS) will provide Ethernet to RS232 or 422 or 485
    conversion for a single item.

Power for Primary Ports: 48 VDC and 375 VDC

  • 10 kW can be apportioned among the primary ports. Actual power available at any port will be negotiated with users and managed by the observatory.
  • Separate returns for 48 and 375 VDC
  • A maximum of 2 kW is available at 48 VDC to all ports.
  • SIIMS provides 48 and 375 VDC to “other,” e.g., 12 VDC levels
  • Individual ports are monitored for over-current and ground faults.


  • NTP time services are provided over the primary data port with an expected accuracy of the order 10s of milliseconds.
  • An additional precision 1 pps clock signal is provided with an accuracy goal of 1 microsecond.

At Sea

Research Vessel Western Flyer
2016 departure/arrival times
Research Vessel Rachel Carson
Research Vessel Paragon
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Onboard cruise log
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NILSPIN ™ oceanographic ropes
Push core policies and description
RHIB operations
Rigging policy
Science party size
Cruise planning
R/V Western Flyer cruise planning
Checklist of Supplies
Cruises outside home port
Data and video: formats and specifics
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early departure
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Safety Management System
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Cabled observatory
About MARS
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How to connect to MARS
MARS contacts
How to interface
MARS site description
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MARS biology
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MARS connector wiring
MARS node description
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