Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Cruise Planning Synopsis

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AR10 Knobles-Wilson "Seabed Acoustics"


RV Neil Armstrong

Cruise Party

David Knobles: Chief Scientist, Principal Investigator
KSA, LLC 5416 Tortuga Trail P.O. BOX 27200 Austin, Texas USA 78755
+1 512 796 2090

Departure: Mar 2, 2017


Arrival: Apr 10, 2017


Operations Area

Lat/Lon: 70° 36.0′ W
Depth Range: 70 / 80
Will the vessel be operating within 200 NM of a foreign country? no

Science Objectives

The overall scientific objective is to preform and conduct acoustic measurements in a 330 square km area known as the “mudpatch” about 60 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard in about 75 meters of water.  A nominal position in the mudpatch is about 40.47731 N   70.603934 W (see Figure 1).   The measurements and analysis of the acoustic data are planned such that they will reveal information about the properties of the upper 100 meters of the seabed.   David Knobles of KSA,LLC and Preston Wilson of University of Texas at Austin are co-chief scientists 

Science Activities

Cruise 1 of the Armstrong will occur at WHOI. Mobilization is March 01 2016.  It will proceed to the area of operations on March 02.   Its mission is to deploy (1) oceanography mooring equipment with Glen Gawarkiewicz WHOI as the PI, (2) a 1 km bottom moored horizontal line array (HLA) with Dag Tollefson of FFI Norway as the the PI, and (3) an L-array that has a vertical component of about 60 meters and a 280 meter horizontal component on the seafloor with Preston Wilson of ARL:UT as the PI.  An A-frame and supporting cranes are necessary for deployment.  ARL:UT and FFI Norway will have their winches to deploy the hydrophone cables , bottom moored measurement systems, supporting cables, floats, etc.   Likely ARL:UT will have a 20x20 foot container for command and control, and support engineering. 


Once the oceanography measurements the Neil Armstrong will transit back to WHOI to demob the Cruise 1 and Mobilize for Cruise 2 starting March 12.  There is some uncertainty as there is a plan to have NUWC personal with their small explosive devices loaded onto the ship, which would occur at NUWC.   The mission of CRUISE 2 is to deploy broadband sources, such as the NUWC devices and a Combustive Sound Source operated by ARL:UT with Preston Wilson as PI.  Andrew McNeese of ARL:UT will be the lead engineer of the deployment with assistance from David Knobles KSA, LLC as needed.  About 350-450 events are planned to be deployed throughout the Area of Operations.  On March 21 the Neil Armstrong will go back to WHOI to demob and mob for Cruise 3.

 The mission of Cruise 3 is to deploy and operate the ARL:Penn State Five Octave Research Array(FORA) array with Charles Holland and Chad Smith from ARL:PS as PIs.   The FORA array is towed from the Armstrong with a high frequency source that will record sound signals after they have reflected from the seabed.

Cruise 4 will occur after Cruise 3 and its mission is to recover all the equipment (moored sources and arrays). 

Additional Info

Pre-cruise Planning Meeting: Teleconference/Visit WHOI
Meeting Notes: This is a multi-cruise plan with PIs from ARL:UT, ARL:Penn State, FFI Norway, WHOI, and KSA,LLC.


  Station 1
  Distance: 80
  Days: null

Supporting documentation:



Funding Agency: ONR/NAVY
Grant or contract number: Nooo14-16-C_3065

Scientific Instrumentation for R/V Armstrong

Other Science Vans:

Shipboard Equipment

Bathymetry System 12 kHz
ADCP 300 kHz
Bathymetry System 3.5 kHz
ADCP 150 kHz
Science Underway Seawater System
12 kHz Pinger for Wire Use
EM122 (12 kHz) Multibeam Echosounder
EK80 Sonar
Dynamic Positioning System
ADCP 38 kHz
EM710 MkII (40 to 100 kHz) Multibeam Echosounder
Towed Magnetometer

Shipboard Communication

Basic Internet access via HiSeasNet

CTD/Water Sampling

911+ Rosette 24-position, 10-liter bottle Rosette with dual T/C sensors

Critical CTD Sensors

CTD-Related Equipment

Lowered Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (LADCP)

Hydrographic Analysis Equipment


MET Sensors

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


UNOLS Winch Pool
Winch Notes:

Notes on discussion about winches.  

Three groups of the joint experiment, including ARL-UT, the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt – FFI) and WHOI, led by Chief Scientists David Knobles and Preston Wilson  have suggested that we can all utilize the TSE SD-70 winch  in the Seabed Characterization Experiment from 03/01/2017 to 04/15/2017.  So, we definitely want to reserve one during the time.  FFI is also bringing a Capstan. 

 the FFI Capstan is still a 1200 lb equipment (4.3’x 7’) that on our ship is welded onto deck for use.   Our suggestion is that this work is done in port and that it is left in place once mounted.  We will require additional deck space for array cable storage and layout - Preston and David have more details on the Capstan and our other requirements.  

ARL:PS plan to use the NA winch underneath the main deck 

Winch Notes:

Standard Oceanographic Cables

Slip ring required? no
Non-standard wire required? no
Traction winch required? no
Science Van 1
Type/size: 20x20 foot x 2 Location: back deck
Water: Power:

Specialized Deck Equipment

Mooring Deployment/Recovery Equipment Required: no Type: 
Cruise Specific Science Winch Required: no Type: 
Nets Required: no Type: 

Over the Side Equipment

Will you be bringing any equipment (winches, blocks, etc.) that lowers instruments over the side? yes Details: Combustive Sound Source and several hydrophones to record source signatures of both the
CSS and small explosive sources. 

Special Requirements

Elecrical Power: no Identify 
Equipment Handling: no Identify: 
Inter/intraship Communications: no Identify: 
Science Stowage: no Identify: 
Water: no Identify: 

Additional Cruise Items/Activities

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

Hazardous Material

Will hazardous material be utilized?noDescribe deployment method and quantity:

Radioactive Material


Additional Information

Is night time work anticipated on this cruise?yesSpecialized tech support (Seabeam, coring, other):
We plan to work 24-7 on deployment of the CSS and small explosive charges and CTD measurementsOther 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: