Gulf of California 2015 Expedition Equipment

Research Vessel Western Flyer

R/V Western Flyer was designed and constructed for MBARI to serve as the support vessel for ROV Doc Ricketts. Her missions include the Monterey Bay as well as extended cruises to Hawaii, Gulf of California and the Pacific Northwest.

ROV Doc Ricketts

ROV Doc Ricketts is capable of diving to 4,000 meters (about 2.5 miles). The Western Flyer is the support vessel for Doc Ricketts and was designed with a center well whose floor can be opened to allow Doc Ricketts to be launched from within the ship into the water below.

Seafloor mapping AUV

The MBARI mapping AUV is a torpedo-shaped vehicle equipped with four sonars that operate simultaneously during a mission to map the seafloor autonomously. The sonars are a swath multibeam sonar, two sidescan sonars, and a sub-bottom profiler.

Mini remotely operated vehicle

The MiniROV is used to conduct shallow water transects and make in situ observations. The vehicle is electrically powered, so it is much quieter than a normal-sized ROV.

CTD rosette

The CTD measures conductivity (which helps determine salinity), temperature, and depth.

Sediment traps

Sediment traps collect the samples needed for the lab's measure of particulate organic carbon. The sample is split into portions for microscopy, pigment analysis and carbon analysis.

SCUBA gear

Blue water diving is a highly specialized mode of scientific diving that lets researchers observe, experiment, and collect delicate midwater organisms in situ.

Benthic respirometer system

Oxygen consumption (a measure of biological activity) of the organisms living in the sediment is measured using a benthic respirometer system (BRS). This instrument is used in situ (in place on the seafloor).

Push cores

A push core looks like a clear plastic tube with a rubber handle on one end. Just as its name implies, the push core is pushed down into loose sediment using the ROV's manipulator arm.

Detritus sampler

Detritus samplers are these clear plastic cylinders to collect fragile organisms such as jellyfish. These cylinders are attached to a mechanical arm that swings out from the body of a remotely operated vehicle.