Taking the laboratory into the ocean

One of MBARI’s hallmarks is developing technologies for carrying out experiments in situ. This has proven to be extremely valuable for addressing questions related to ocean acidification, expansion of oxygen minimum zones, and the emergence of dead zones. These studies were based on realistic climate scenarios, fundamental chemical principles, and historical observations. How will the projected changes impact marine life and humans? What sampling and sensor systems are needed to test these projections, and where should they be located? How can various sources of information be combined to gain insights into trends and to establish testable hypotheses?

MBARI’s operational assets and ready access to the sea ideally position the institute to address such questions. For example, in situ experiments on methane hydrates and carbon dioxide in the deep sea demonstrate the necessity of making measurements under ambient conditions. Similarly, the development of tools for observing midwater animals in their natural state has led to numerous discoveries that would have been impossible to achieve using traditional methods like trawling. Profiling floats equipped with biogeochemical sensors provide a way to autonomously detect fluxes of material through broad swaths of the ocean over multi-year time scales, without recovery and service. The Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) can be used to quantify nucleic acids and other biochemical signatures in near real-time, where they naturally occur.

In all cases, the objective has been to retrieve information from the field directly, under natural conditions, and eliminate the traditional requirement for shore-side analyses of retrieved samples. MBARI is uniquely suited to continue this line of work.

Technology

Solving challenges
Taking the laboratory into the ocean
Environmental Sample Processor (ESP)
In Situ Ultraviolet Spectrophotometer
Midwater Respirometer System
Mobile flow cytometer
Enabling targeted sampling
Automated Video Event Detection
Environmental Sample Processor (ESP)
Gulper autonomous underwater vehicle
Advancing a persistent presence
Aerostat hotspot
Benthic event detectors
Benthic rover
Fault Prognostication
Long-range autonomous underwater vehicle Tethys
MARS hydrophone for passive acoustic monitoring
Monterey Ocean-Bottom Broadband Seismometer
Shark Café camera
Vehicle Persistence
Wave Glider-based communications hotspot
Emerging and current tools
Communications
Aerostat hotspot
Wave Glider-based communications hotspot
Data management
Oceanographic Decision Support System
Spatial Temporal Oceanographic Query System (STOQS) Data
Video Annotation and Reference System
Instruments
Apex profiling floats
Benthic event detectors
Deep particle image velocimetry
Environmental Sample Processor (ESP)
Persistent presence—2G ESP
How does the 2G ESP work?
Arrays on the 2G ESP
Printing probe arrays
Expeditions and deployments
In Situ Ultraviolet Spectrophotometer
Investigations of imaging for midwater autonomous platforms
Lagrangian sediment traps
Midwater Respirometer System
Mobile flow cytometer
SeeStar Imaging System
Shark Café camera
Smart underwater connector
Power
Wave-Power Buoy
Vehicle technology
Benthic Rover
Gulper autonomous underwater vehicle
Imaging autonomous underwater vehicle
Seafloor mapping AUV
Long-range autonomous underwater vehicle Tethys
Mini remotely operated vehicle
ROV Doc Ricketts
ROV Ventana
Video
Automated Video Event Detection
Deep learning
Video Annotation and Reference System
Technology publications
Technology transfer