Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

2011 projects

Instrumentation projects

Chemical Sensor Program

Project Manager and Lead Scientist: Ken Johnson
Project website

The project team will continue work on a pH sensor to operate at high pressure. This ISFET (Ion Selective Field Effect Transistor) sensor appears well suited for measuring seawater pH over long time periods. The team will develop the pressure-tolerant reference electrode and the pressure-and-temperature-controlled test facility for integration of the pH sensor on Apex profiling floats. The lab is also evaluating MBARI's DigiScan hardware for counting and sizing particles in seawater.

Application of Chemical Sensors

Project Manager and Lead Scientist: Ken Johnson

The goal of this project is to develop low-cost chemical sensor networks that can monitor significant expanses of the ocean. With National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) funding and in partnership with the University of Washington float lab, the Johnson lab continues to equip eight to 10 profiling floats per year and deploying them in the open ocean. The profiling floats now support nitrate, oxygen, and biooptical sensors, with pH to be included in 2011.

Sensors: Underwater Research of the Future (SURF) Center

Project Manager: Jim Birch
Lead Scientist: Chris Scholin
Lead Engineers: Scott Jensen, Doug Pargett, Brent Roman

Funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation is utilized synergistically with funds from the Moore Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), industry, and various states to continue to develop, deploy, enhance, and transfer the Environmental Sample Processor technology. The team is working on completing a graphic user interface and data management system. The center will continue surface-water and pier-based field studies. The deep ESP will be deployed on the Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS) as well as on Axial seamount. Design of the "third generation" ESP continues.

Benthic Event Detectors

Project Manager: TBD
Lead Scientist: TBD
Lead Engineer: Alana Sherman

Following the 2010 feasibility phase, the project team will work on developing Benthic Event Detectors (BED) that provide the capability of resolving and recording down-canyon movement within the sediments of Monterey Canyon during a mass-movement event. Several BEDs will be buried in the seafloor to measure both tilt and acceleration during the events.

Sedimentation Event Sensor

Project Manager and Lead Engineer: Paul McGill
Lead Scientist: Ken Smith

This project has developed a sediment trap mounted on a rotating plate that records images for composition and size and measures chlorophyll content of sediment collected over a discrete time interval. The system is destined for MARS. The knowledge gained from the MARS deployment will be used to deploy the instrument for autonomy, stand-alone sampling at the Station M observatory.

Lagrangian Sediment Trap

Project Manager: Alana Sherman
Lead Scientist: Ken Smith
Lead Engineer: Brett Hobson

The Lagrangian sediment trap was developed and used to sample particulates around Antarctic icebergs. Improvements to the trap will be made in 2011.

Self-contained Plankton Imager

Project Manager: Alana Sherman
Lead Scientists: Steve Haddock, Ken Smith
Lead Engineer: Brett Hobson

Researchers will refine user requirements and specifications for a small, self-contained plankton imaging system that can be easily deployed on a range of platforms.

State-of-the-art Time Lapse Camera

Project Manager: Chris Grech
Lead Engineer: Dave French

MBARI's current time-lapse digital still camera lacks endurance for long deployments on the seafloor. It is also a complex system with limited user interface. A new time-lapse camera system will provide researchers with digital still pictures as well as time-lapse video. The new system will address problems encountered with the current system.

Last updated: Dec. 14, 2010