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Long core piston handling off the stern of R/V Knorr.

Command and Control

During September 2007 sea trials on the research vessel Knorr, WHOI technicians and researchers tested the powerful articulated hydraulic grapple that holds the ship's new "long-core" system during launch operations. Team members Terry Hammar, Jeff Hood, and Larry Costello (left background) stand by as Jim Broda (foreground center) signals Al Gagnon [2nd from the right] to position the corer for final rigging. The grapple and A-frame that surround the coring team were instrumented with sensors that fed position data to a programmable ‘logic’ controller (PLC). Later in the test cruise, as ‘HAL’ (the PLC’s nickname) learned the numerous steps in launch and recovery sequences, Gagnon was able to switch from traditional hydraulic joysticks to a simple push of  two buttons that engaged HAL’s memory to precisely position and control the massive 150-foot-long corer. (Photo by Alexander Dorsk, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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