DTAG3 Final Construction and Delivery


Project Summary Report

The primary goal of this project was to build test and calibrate 20 Dtag3 Marine Mammal Tags.  A secondary goal was to train Steve Faluotico and Daniel Bogorff to not only build, test and calibrate the new Dtag3’s but also to maintain and manage them as related to the workings of the WHOI Dtag pool.

 Dtag3 Builds

From a scheduling standpoint we did fairly well, about half of the Dtags were built by late May to early June. As a result, enough Dtag3’s were available to support existing 2013 experiments. Unfortunately, from a budgeting standpoint, we did not do so well. Almost all of the money was spent building the first half of the Dtags. The main reason for this was underestimating the job. I failed to plan (and account) for problems that inevitably arise when building a relatively new device as well as misjudging the amount of time it takes for people to get familiar with an unknown device. 

Main Tasks required to complete a Dtag3:

  1. Procure parts
  2. Bench Test Electronics Card Sets
  3. Assemble tag body (ready for cards and urethane encapsulation)
  4. Encapsulate tag body
  5. Pressure Test and Calibrate Tag
  6. Final test and delivery to WHOI pool


Current Status:

  • 11 Dtag3 V1.2’s completed.
    • 1 lost  at sea
    • 1 failed at final pressure test; repair to be determined
    • 2 Dtag3 V1.2 in process, bench test (task #2)
    • All parts procured.


Both Daniel and Steve came into this project with Dtag2 experience. Daniel had been helping to manage the Dtag2’s in the WHOI pool and Steve had been providing customer support (mainly electronics) for the Dtag2 and associated gear. Dtag3, however, is a very different device from an assembly and design standpoint. From understanding and developing the ability to test and troubleshoot complicated electronics to the intricate and delicate fabrication techniques required, this project really challenged them both. While there were some growing pains in putting the first few devices together, most (if not all) were overcome and the later Dtag3’s were getting put together much more quickly and efficiently than the first few.      


Steve and Daniel are in a very good position (along with Alex Bocconcelli) to continue the Dtag work that has gone on over the past decade. I will continue to provide engineering support and Alex will work to procure the funding necessary for them to help manage and maintain the WHOI Dtag pool.