Bioluminescence and Biodiversity Expedition 2007
The remotely operated vehicles that MBARI owns both use the 'toolsled' approach to facilitate mission objectives. The toolsleds are research-specific and are quickly and easily swapped out between missions. Each toolsled contains instruments that are designed for a particular research group. This midwater toolsled contains a High Frequency Suction Sampler (HFSS). You can see several of the 12 collection buckets in this image which is of the ROV Ventana on board the R/V Point Lobos.
Detritus Samplers and Suction Samplers:
ROV Tiburon is shown here outfitted with four detritus samplers and 12 buckets on a rotating carousel that form the collection portion of the High Frequency Suction Sampler (HFSS). This sampler acts like a vacuum cleaner sucking up samples and depositing them into one of the 12 buckets. The detritus samplers are designed by Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution and enable researachers to collect very delicate organisms without disturbing them. Tiburon is on top of the moonpool within the R/V Western Flyer. Tiburon is lifted, the moonpool doors open and the ROV is launched and recovered through this area.
Used in combination with the High Frequency Suction Sampler (HFSS) and Detritus Samplers, the spatulator flips items off the sea floor that are then vacuumed into the High Frequency Suction Sampler or collected with the Detritus Samplers.
Nikon Coolpix and Blue LED System:
Mounted on ROV Tiburon, the Nikon Coolpix 995 digital still camera is used to capture images in front of the ROV. This expedition will test (for the very first time) a blue LED light system for fluorescence imaging.
A midwater trawl collects specimens while being towed behind the Western Flyer. Researchers have the option of trawling with the net open (as seen in this photo) or keeping the net closed until a particular depth is reached and then opening the net. The net can then be closed prior to recovery. This provides scientists with a discrete sample from a particular depth.
SCUBA Gear (Blue Water Diving):
Blue water diving is a highly specialized mode of scientific diving that lets researchers observe, experiment, and collect delicate midwater organisms in situ. A weighted down line is suspended from the surface for the divers to attach the "trapeze" to which they attach their individual safety lines. Divers are attached to their safety lines by quick releases and a safety diver watches over all of them from near the trapeze throughout the dive.