Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Cruise Planning Synopsis

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Tioga - Calypso


R/V Tioga

Cruise Party

Ken Buesseler: Principal Investigator
+1 508 289 2309

Meg Estapa: Chief Scientist, Principal Investigator

Departure: May 8, 2018


Arrival: May 10, 2018


Operations Area

tbd, potentially near pioneer array, closest location with deep water and reasonable currents
Depth Range: 1000 / 2000
Will the vessel be operating within 200 NM of a foreign country? no

Science Objectives

Test of autonomous subsurface sediment traps (aka Neutrally Buoyant Sediment Traps- NBSTs)

Science Activities

THIS IS ONE PLAN FOR 2 separate single days of TIOGA use

day 1) Steam to 1000 m water depth at shelf/slope break (exact location tbd- looking for low currents) and put 5-6 NBSTs in water and return to WHOI.  Deployment time is about 15 min each.  Weight in air about 200 lb (I think I sent photo already to Ken)

return to port 24-48 hours.  NBSTs surface at end of that time period and provide GPS position and strobe light

day 2 (appox 1-2 days later) Steam to GPS location and pick up.  Pick up 15-30 min each.  Some time searching to locate will also be needed.  They tend to surface within a <1 to few km of each other if deployed as here in same location on day 1.  Timing of pick up is somewhat flexible, but the longer on the surface the faster they may drift, so we will work with the Captain and currents to pick a suitable deployment location.

Additional Info

Pre-cruise Planning Meeting: Visit WHOI
Meeting Notes: I am at WHOI and already contacted Ken Houlter about this


Supporting documentation:



Funding Agency: NSF
Grant or contract number: 85999500

Scientific Instrumentation for R/V Tioga

Shipboard Equipment

Navigation - Heading
Navigation - Position

Equipment Deployment

What type of equipment will you deploy?
See science plan and description of NBST - about 200 lb in air
What are the dimensions?
see photo. Built around APEX float with added sensors tubes. Approx. 5' tall, 2' dia for outermost sample collection tubes 3
What is the weight in air?
200 lb

Hazardous Material

Will hazardous material be utilized?no
Describe deployment method and quantity:
NSBT is slid to rail/pick up point, lift by its own attached tether and lowered vertically in the water.  A quick release on the line/loop is used to release the tether.  For retrieval, we use boat hooks on a long pole (10+ feet) and/or grappling hooks to snag line, fasten to ships line/winch over the A frame and position to lift vertically on board.  We will have racks on board to fasten in between deployment and retrieval.  We will have at least 2 people on board to assist.  Key steps are locating via GPS and binoculars (if done in dark flasher is obvious target), and bringing vessel along side to grap the floating yellow tether line that is permanently attached to each NBST with a loop at its end.

Additional Information

Brief operations description or comments:
Other required equipment and special needs:
We have used these NBSTs on vessels ranging from ocean class & much smaller.  This is a test of equipment, and timing can be adjusted.  Once in the water the return at a pre-set/adjustable time and we are somewhat flexible in that deployment window.  We will know more about this window/timing after another cruise in mid-March on the Endeavor with 2 NBSTs

Checklist & Notes


U.S. Customs Form: no
Diplomatic Clearance: no
Date Submitted:
Date Approved:
Agent Information:
Isotope Use Approval: no
Isotope Notes:
SCUBA Diving: no


SSSG Tech: