Current projects


Past projects




ROV / AUV enhancements and upgrades

AUV-mounted bioluminescence detector module
Project Manager/Lead Scientist: Steve Haddock
Lead Engineer: Hans Thomas

A bioluminescence detector will be integrated into the Dorado AUV as the centerpiece for the 2004 Autonomous Ocean Sensing Network (AOSN) experiment. AOSN is funded by the Office of Naval Research and will be held in Monterey Bay in 2003. To support research on the factors controlling the distribution of bioluminescent organisms, MBARI engineers have assembled a large contingent of AUVs, gliders, ships, and modeling capabilities. 

Two different models will assimilate the marine data in real time to predict future physical states of the ocean. The plan is to use the models’ forecast capabilities in real time to redeploy the ships and other assets so as to acquire data contributing the most uncertainty to the model predictions.

The project is part of an ongoing effort to map bioluminescence and plankton distributions in the bay through various oceanographic seasons and over two seasonal cycles. The field work expands upon on the results obtained during the MUSE 2000 and SPOKES 2002 field programs. The goals are to model and predict bioluminescence in the bay and to explain the origins (local blooms or advected water) and identify factors determining distributions of concentrations of bioluminescent organisms. This is significant because luminescence can be a general predictor of biomass—especially zooplankton biomass which is difficult to measure automatically—and luminescence may indicate the presence harmful algal blooms.