Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Cruise Planning Synopsis

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RV Neil Armstrong

Cruise Party

Carin Ashjian: Principal Investigator
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Redfield 2-44, MS#33 Woods Hole, Ma. USA 02543
+1 508 289 3457

Glen Gawarkiewicz: Principal Investigator
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Clark 343C, MS#21 Woods Hole, Ma. USA 02543
+1 508 289 2913

Mike Jech: Principal Investigator
Organization Name USA
+1 508 495 2353

Andone Lavery: Principal Investigator
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Bigelow 211, MS#11 Woods Hole, Ma. USA 02543
+1 508 289 2345

Gareth Lawson: Chief Scientist
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Redfield 1-32, MS#34 Woods Hole, Ma. USA 02543
+1 508 289 3713

Joel Llopiz: Principal Investigator
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Redfield 212, MS#33 Woods Hole, Ma. USA 02543
+1 508 289 3845

Michael Lowe: Principal Investigator
+1 508 289 2491

Tim Stanton: Principal Investigator
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Bigelow 201-C, MS#11 Woods Hole, Ma. USA 02543
+1 508 289 2757

Zhaohui Wang: Principal Investigator
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution McLean 203, MS#08 Woods Hole, Ma. USA 02543
+1 508 289 3676

Thomas Weber: Principal Investigator
University of New Hampshire USA
+1 603 862 1659

Peter Wiebe: Principal Investigator
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Redfield 2-26, MS#33 Woods Hole, Ma. USA 02543
+1 508 289 2313

Weifeng Zhang: Principal Investigator
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Bigelow 201, MS#11 Woods Hole, Ma. USA 02543
+1 508 289 2521

Departure: Jun 17, 2016

Woods Hole

Arrival: Jun 23, 2016

Woods Hole

Operations Area

Pioneer Array and vicinity
Lat/Lon: 40° 3.0′ N / 70° 45.0′ W
Depth Range: 80 / 3000
Will the vessel be operating within 200 NM of a foreign country? No
Are visas or special travel documents required? no

Science Objectives

The overall objective of this inter-disciplinary cruise is to collect acoustic, biological, and physical data in order to examine bio-physical interactions near the Pioneer Array and adjacent survey locations at the New England shelf break and slope. Specifically we propose to address the following objectives:
- Characterize the abundance, distribution, and vertical movements of zooplankton and micronekton relative to physical processes (especially the shelf-slope front and internal waves), with particular focus on krill, meso-pelagic fish, and ichthoplankton (i.e., larval fish). If the opportunity presents itself, the biophysical effects of a warm-core ring and/or high-frequency solitary internal waves will also be examined.
- Resolve sub-tidal flow and variability in the position of the shelf-slope front and jet.
- Concurrently collect samples with multiple types of net systems and acoustic instruments to cross-compare these sampling methods and ground-truth Pioneer Array echosounders.
- As feasible, incidentally assess the utility of acoustics for surveying methane seeps.

Science Activities

The study region spans a large range of depths and thus presents a useful and challenging test of the Armstrong's sampling capabilities. Surveys will be conducted along a series of cross-isobath transects during which a variety of the vessel's acoustic instruments will be employed, including the Simrad EK80, ADCPs, EM122 and EM702 multi-beams, and Knudsen. This will provide an assessment of the ability to operate these simultaneously while maintaining sufficient data quality and without interference. Underway data on carbonate chemistry will also be collected using science party-supplied systems and the vessel's seawater supply.

Surveys will be punctuated by over-the-side operations at stations along these transects, operating over the full 24-hr day, and providing an assessment of deployment capabilities. This will include 1-m2 and 10-m2 mouth opening MOCNESS nets and a single-warp midwater fish trawl. Hydrographic casts and water sample collection will also be conducted with a CTD rosette package with VPR attached and potentially an LADCP.

Additional Info

Pre-cruise Planning Meeting: Visit WHOI
Media personnel on board: WHOI Communications
WHOI Communications is interested to send 1-2 people out with us and we are tentatively holding at least one berth for them.


Supporting documentation:



Funding Agency: ONR/NAVY
Grant or contract number: SVC funds

Scientific Instrumentation for R/V Armstrong

Shipboard Equipment

ADCP 150 kHz
ADCP 300 kHz
ADCP 38 kHz
Bathymetry System 12 kHz
Bathymetry System 3.5 kHz
Computer Network
Dynamic Positioning System
Deionized Water System
EK80 Sonar
EM122 (12 kHz) Multibeam Echosounder
EM710 MkII (40 to 100 kHz) Multibeam Echosounder
Fume Hood
K-Synch System
Science Underway Seawater System
Sippican XBT System (Mark 21)

Shipboard Communication

Basic Internet access via HiSeasNet
Is there a need to receive data from shore on a regular basis?

CTD/Water Sampling

911+ Rosette 24-position, 10-liter bottle Rosette with dual T/C sensors
Biospherical underwater PAR (1000m depth limit) with reference Surface PAR
SBE43 oxygen sensor
Seapoint STM turbidity sensor
Wet Labs C*Star transmissometer (660nm wavelength)
Wet Labs ECO-AFL fluorometer

Critical CTD Sensors

CTD-Related Equipment

Lowered Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (LADCP)

MET Sensors

Air temperature
Barometric Pressure
Relative Humidity
Short Wave Solar Radiation
Wind speed and direction

Sample Storage

Chest Freezer (Household type) 0°F
Freezer -70°C 3.2 cu. ft. ea.
Storage Notes:


Will you be using Long Base Line (LBL) navigation? no
How many nets? null
How many tansponders? null
Will you be using Ultra-short baseline (USBL) navigation?no


Navigation Notes:


CTD Winch with .322" Electro-mechanical wire
Winch Notes:

Wire use and application

Trawl Winch with .681 fiber optic
Winch Notes: We plan on using the following instruments for over the side work:

1. CTD with minimally a 24-bottle rosette and ideally 36-bottle, with Video Plankton Recorder attached via a science party-supplied sub-stand. Maximum depths sampled will be 1000m with VPR attached and 3000m without VPR. VPR adds ca. 85 lbs in water and 110 lbs in air. Ideally we would also like to attach the SSSG LADCP to the CTD package. Will be deployed with the CTD winch.

2. 1-m2 MOCNESS net system. Ideally this would be deployed over the side using the oceanographic winch with 0.322 wire but we understand that towing instruments over the side is presently not feasible. We therefore would plan to deploy over the stern using the trawl winch with 0.680 EM wire -- note that we selected the 0.681 fiber optic option above but only because the regular 0.680 EM wire wasn't given as an option. We will also need slip rings.

3. 10-m2 MOCNESS net deployed over the stern with the trawl winch with 0.680 EM wire. This is a large net system and we would like to discuss options and needs in terms of deploying/recovering and storing it.

4. Non-rigid mouth-opening 36-m2 midwater trawl. This is a large trawl (although small by fisheries standards) involving two doors. Although it is most often deployed using two warps it is designed to be deployed alternately using a single warp, which we would like to test here using the trawl winch with 0.680 EM wire.

Standard Oceanographic Cables

Slip ring required? no
Non-standard wire required? no
Traction winch required? no

Specialized Deck Equipment

Mooring Deployment/Recovery Equipment Required: no Type: 
Cruise Specific Science Winch Required: no Type: 
Nets Required: yes Type: 10-m2 MOCNESS and small trawl

Over the Side Equipment

Will you be bringing any equipment (winches, blocks, etc.) that lowers instruments over the side? no

Special Requirements

Elecrical Power: no Identify 
Equipment Handling: yes Identify: 10-m2 MOCNESS will need to be moved around
Inter/intraship Communications: no Identify: 
Science Stowage: no Identify: 
Water: no Identify: 

Additional Cruise Items/Activities

Explosive Devices:no
Portable Air Compressors:no
Flammable Gases:no
Small Boat Operations:no
SCUBA Diving Operations:no

Hazardous Material

Will hazardous material be utilized?yes
Describe deployment method and quantity:

Radioactive Material


Additional Information

Is night time work anticipated on this cruise?yes
Specialized tech support (Seabeam, coring, other):
Other required equipment and special needs:

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: