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RESEARCH TOOLS:   Triaxus  |  Trisoarus  |  Seaglider  |  Mooring Technology


enlarge photoTriaxus
Triaxus is a towed, undulating vehicle designed for making quasi-synoptic, high-resolution, three-dimensional surveys of the upper ocean. At tow speeds ranging from 2-10 knots, the vehicle profiles from the surface to 400 m with along-track horizontal resolutions of 3 km. Horizontal resolution can be increased by towing at slower speeds and limiting the maximum profile depth. The system also provides full lateral control, allowing the profiler to be operated outside the wake of the towing vessel for the sampling of surface intensified phenomenon such as buoyant plumes and shallow mixed layers. Triaxus provides flexible support for a wide range of payloads, including physical, optical, biological and chemical sensors, and the system has been designed to ease the integration of new instruments. The basic sensor suite includes a Seabird CTD, chlorophyll fluorometer, transmissometer and dissolved oxygen sensor, with a fiber-optic tow cable providing high-bandwidth telemetry.

TriSoarus^ top

enlarge photoTriSoarus
Like Triaxus, TriSoarus is a towed, undulating vehicle for high-resolution, three-dimensional surveys of the upper ocean. TriSoarus began life as a Seasoar vehicle, but has been heavily modified to increase profiling range on unfaired cable. Large symmetric foil section wings and a gravity driven roll stabilizing aileron, both designed by CSIRO, significantly enhance range and stability compared to a stock Seasoar. The actuator and telemetry system have been upgraded by adapting Triaxus components. Thus, the two vehicles have identical subsea and topside electronics suites, down to the software control algorithm. Instrument payloads are similar. Triaxus has slightly more overall payload space and its larger flight surfaces and active horizontal and roll control provide additional flexibility in profile shape and range.

Seaglider^ top

enlarge photoSeaglider
Seaglider is a buoyancy driven autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) developed by scientists and engineers at the University of Washington's School of Oceanography and Applied Physics Laboratory. After many years of development Seaglider has entered wider use in scientific deployments. We have deployed gliders in the Gulf of Alaska, Davis Strait, off Norway, and in the western Pacific. Deployments in Davis Strait require the development of RAFOS acoustic navigation for operation under ice. More information about ongoing glider deployments can be found at the Seaglider Fabrication Center site and IOP's own operations site. Links to additional technical information, photos, and press coverage are available as well.

Mooring Technology^ top

enlarge photoMooring Technology
After shipboard sampling, moorings are one of the oldest tools in the oceanographic toolbox. They are persistent fixtures of experimental oceanography because of their unique capability for capturing high temporal resolution Eulerian (fixed point) time-series. We are currently employing moorings in our work in Davis Strait as a complement to the high spatial resolution survey work that Seagliders will do. Our Davis Strait moorings are subsurface (to avoid ice) and carry upward looking sonars for ice draft measurement, acoustic current profilers for ice velocity and water current profiles, and temperature and conductivity sensors.

We are also working with new, lightweight mooring technologies for Arctic applications. These technologies include the IceCAT system for mooring CT sensors in iceberg threatened environments (such as the Baffin Island slope in our Davis Strait array) and lightweight, aircraft deployable, long endurance (three years), through ice moorings for the Switchyard region.