New Technologies for Ocean Margin Studies — Autonomous Instrument Carrier Systems
Processes that determine the environmental structure of ocean margins are calling for multidisciplinary observations. Current knowledge has been gained mainly through ship board observational programs. But this approach is not sufficient to account for the variability of the processes involved in the ocean margin environment. For instance the importance of intense events of short duration compared to slowly but permanently ongoing processes is not well understood up to now. Therefore the main focus of future observational program will be on improving the spatial and temporal coverage of the measured parameters and enhancing the long-term capability of the system.This paper describes already existing or upcoming technologies that will allow for more intensive investigations of water column properties. Moored profiling platforms that are able to host a complete suit of physical, biological and chemical sensors are introduced as efficient observational tools to fulfil the envisaged goals. Common to all described systems are the need for adequate energy supply, autonomous operation and bi-directional data exchange to enable event triggered sampling. The tradeoffs between different technological approaches addressing the mentioned scientific needs and the consequences for their applicability are described.
KeywordsAutonomous Underwater Vehicle Euphotic Zone Mooring Line Docking Station Cont Shelf
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