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Bioinspiration 2018 Expedition

Bioinspiration 2018 Expedition

Observing the midwater medusa Deepstaria enigmatica in the control room aboard the R/V Western Flyer.

MBARI Expedition #444

Expedition goal: Study midwater organisms for bioinspired engineering design

Expedition dates: June 21-26, 2018

Ship: R/V Western Flyer

Research technology: Deep particle image velocimetry (DeepPIV), ROV Doc RickettsMiniROV

Expedition chief scientist: Kakani Katija

This research cruise is the first expedition of the Bioinspiration Lab on the R/V Western Flyer to study midwater organisms for bioinspired engineering design. The goal of this expedition is to understand how deep midwater organisms survive in a turbulent and changing fluid environment, and how fluid interactions impact their ecology, swimming ability, and behavior.

The Bioinspiration Lab, led by Kakani Katija, has developed DeepPIV (deep particle image velocimetry), a laser-based instrument that can measure fluid motion over space and time. We will use DeepPIV to study mucus-house-building larvaceans, agile tomopterid worms, giant prayiid siphonophores, ctenophores, fishes, squids, and many other common inhabitants of the ocean twilight zone. The DeepPIV can be mounted on the ROV Doc Ricketts to study deep-living animals (200 to 4,000 meters) and has been deployed from MiniROV, a flyaway remotely operated vehicle system that is optimized for working in the upper water column.

On this expedition, we will also test MiniROV’s new “Smart Clump”. The Smart Clump is a weighted instrument attached to the ROV tether 50 meters from the vehicle. The Smart Clump has a camera and sensors that will give an overhead perspective of the ROV, which will make ROV operations safer and more effective.

We are excited to take our first official expedition on the R/V Western Flyer since our lab formed in 2017!

About Bioinspiration 2018 Expedition

June 21-26, 2018 – This research cruise is the first expedition of the Bioinspiration Lab on the R/V Western Flyer to study midwater organisms for bioinspired engineering design.