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sensor platforms

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Vessel Based Observations

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vessel based observations

  • The Mussel Point
  • ADCP
  • Thermosalinograph
  • Fluorometer

Mussel PointResearch Vessel Mussel Point, designed by SAFE Boats International

Bodega Marine Laboratory's research vessel, the R/V Mussel Point, is specifically designed to gather oceanongraphic data in the demanding waters nearshore and offshore of northern California 's rugged coast. The all aluminum planing hull combined with twin jet drives allows this 42-foot vessel to manuever in shallow water safely, while speed, stability and robust construction make it an ideal platform for work over the continental shelf. Underway, the R/V Mussel Point is equipped to acquire and display oceanographic data including sea surface temperature, salinity, fluorescence, transmissometry, as well as water currents speed/direction throughout the water column. In additon to this sensor arrray, a collection of dedicated oceanographic instrumentation is available for over-the-side operations including towed arrays, samplers (water column and bottom), and others. Oceanographic data are interfaced with navigational data and are delivered directly to onboard acquisition computers. The data stream can also be output directly via LAN to scientists' computers. The Mussel Point is a versatile, powerful oceanographic platform designed to serve the scientific community.

R/V Mussel Point Vessel Operations Page >

RVMP adcpInstrument Type: RD Instruments 600-kHz Workhorse Mariner

Description: Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) produces a vertical profile of current velocities. The ADCP transmits sound at a fixed frequency and listens for the Doppler (frequency) shift in the echoes returning from sound scatters in the water. The ADCP uses multiple beams pointed in different directions to compute water velocities in three dimensions. Echoes with different delays allow measurements of current velocities at different depths.

Location: R/V Mussel Point, hull mounted centerline, aft of transom, forward of jets

Installed: March 2005

Velocity Accuracy: 0.3% of water velocity relative to ADCP ± 0.3 cm/s
Velocity Resolution: 0.1 cm/s
Velocity Range: ± 5 m/s
Range: < 50 m

Acquisition Settings:
Depth Cell Size: 1 m
Number of Depth Cells: 100
First Depth Cell: 2 m
Ambiguity Velocity: 330 cm/s
Short Term Average: 60 s
Long Term Average: 300 s
Profile Ping Normalization Reference Layer: Enabled (Start 3, End 10)
Heading Source: Internal compass
Tilt Source: Internal sensor

RVMP thermosalinographInstrument Type: Sea-Bird Electronics SBE 45 MicroTSG Thermosalinograph

Description: An ultra-precision Wein Bridge oscillator to generate a frequency output in response to changes in conductivity and a bridge circuit using an ultra-stable aged thermistor and Vishay precision reference resistor for seawater temperature

Location: R/V Mussel Point, engine compartment, with water pumped through fluorometer, out to pump

Installed: March 2005

Specifications: Temperature:
Range: -5 to +35 °C
Resolution: 0.0001 °C
Accuracy: 0.002 °C

Specifications: Conductivity
Range: 0 to 7 S/m (0 to 70 mS/cm)
Resolution: 0.00001 S/m
Accuracy: 0.0003 S/m

Specifications: Salinity
Resolution: 0.0002 PSU
Accuracy: 0.005 PSU

Acquisition Settings:
Sample Interval: 0 s (acquires continuously)
Samples to Average: 4
Data logged at 10 second intervals

RVMP FluorometerInstrument Type: Turner Designs SCUFA Fluorometer

Description: Two Ultra-Bright blue LEDs are used as the excitation light source. Silicon photodiodes, positioned at 90° from the light beam, are used as the fluorescence detectors. Optical filters are used on both the excitation and emission channels to allow only the wavelengths of interest to pass. The turbidity channel measures the turbidity concentration through 90° light scatter. Turbidity data are recorded simultaneously with the fluorescence data, allowing for meaningful comparisons between fluorescence and turbidity data.

Location: R/V Mussel Point, engine compartment, with water pumped through de-bubbler, out to TSG

Installed: March 2005

Light Source: Two Ultra-Bright Blue LED’s
Detector: Photodiode
Min. Detectable Level: 0.02 µg/l
Operating Temperature: -2 to 40 °C
SCUFAsoft Version: 2.1.0

Acquisition Settings:
Acquires continuously
Data logged at 10 second intervals