Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Cruise Planning Synopsis

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RV Neil Armstrong

Cruise Party

Jennifer Miksis-Olds: Principal Investigator
University of New Hampshire UNH, 24 Colovos Rd Durham, New Hampshire United States 03824
+1 603 862 5147

Joe Warren: Chief Scientist
Stony Brook University 239 Montauk Hwy Southampton, NY USA 11968
+1 631 632 5045

Departure: Nov 19, 2017


Arrival: Dec 17, 2017


Operations Area

US Outer Continental Shelf from VA to FL
Lat/Lon: 30° 0.1′ N / -77° 0.0906′ W
Depth Range: 200 m / 1050 m
Will the vessel be operating within 200 NM of a foreign country? no

Science Objectives

  • Establish an ecosystem observation network that provides baseline monitoring and supports predictive modeling of the soundscape and its relationship to marine life and the environment of the Mid- and South Atlantic Planning Areas.
  • Assess baseline soundscape and ecosystem conditions in support of predictive environmental modeling and trend analyses in the planning areas.
    • How do soundscape and ecosystem components vary with water depth across the OCS?
    • How do the soundscape and ecosystem components vary with latitude along the OCS?
    • Where are the hot spots of human activity for consideration in ecosystem/habitat health impacts?
  • Assess the spatial and temporal distribution of the soundscape and biological scatterers, including their expected variation and correlation with distance from the mooring locations.
    • What are the environmental factors that define and constrain the horizontal range of appropriate extrapolation of observations measured at the stationary mooring sites?

Science Activities

1. Initial deployment of 7 bottom landers.
2. Recovery of first bottom lander on return trip, data download, and re-deployment.
3. Sound propagation experiments (12-18 hours) with ship deployed transducer after bottom lander deployment.
4.  CTD casts in association with each lander deployment and multiple with sound propagation experiment.
5. Zooplankton net tows in conjunction with each lander deployment.
6. Fine-scale acoustic survey transects.

Additional Info

Pre-cruise Planning Meeting: Teleconference
Meeting Notes: Can visit WHOI any time if needed, as both the Lead PI and Chief Sci are relatively local.


  VA Canyon
  Distance: 330
  Days: 3.9
  Latitude: 37° 14.77’ N
  Longitude: 74° 30.84’ W

  Hatteras South
  Distance: 130
  Days: 1
  Latitude: 35° 12.0’ N
  Longitude: 75° 1.2’ W

  Distance: 125
  Days: 1
  Latitude: 33° 34.37’ N
  Longitude: 76° 27.68’ W

  Savannah Deep
  Distance: 105
  Days: 1.2
  Latitude: 32° 0.96’ N
  Longitude: 77° 24.06’ W

  Charleston Bump/Savannah Shallow
  Distance: 55
  Days: 1
  Latitude: 32° 6.0’ N
  Longitude: -78° 21.0’ E

  30N Shallow
  Distance: 130
  Days: 1
  Latitude: 30° 30.0’ N
  Longitude: 80° 0.0’ W

  29N Deep
  Distance: 125
  Days: 1.2
  Latitude: 29° 9.0’ N
  Longitude: 78° 12.6’ W

  VA Canyon-2
  Distance: 535
  Days: null
  Latitude: 37° 14.77’ N
  Longitude: 74° 30.84’ W

Supporting documentation:

Notes: As of 10/20/17, trawl net deployments were officially modified to be conducted off Armstrong Trawl winch with 9/16" wire. There is no longer a winch from the winch pool being brought to the ship. See attachment "Isaacs Kidd Midwater Trawl"


Funding Agency: NOPP through BOEM
Grant or contract number: M16PC00003

Scientific Instrumentation for R/V Armstrong

Shipboard Equipment

Science Underway Seawater System
Fume Hood
EM122 (12 kHz) Multibeam Echosounder
EK80 Sonar
Dynamic Positioning System
EM710 MkII (40 to 100 kHz) Multibeam Echosounder

Shipboard Communication

Basic Internet access via HiSeasNet
Is there a need to receive data from shore on a regular basis?
Is there an expectation to use Skype or any other real-time video conference program?
Shipboard Communication Notes: There will be a need to receive data from our remote sensing team on shore in conjunction with mooring deployments for high resoultion remote sensing data products.
There will be occassional need of Skype access to participate in conference calls.

CTD/Water Sampling

SBE43 oxygen sensor
911+ Rosette 24-position, 10-liter bottle Rosette with dual T/C sensors
Biospherical underwater PAR (1000m depth limit) with reference Surface PAR
Wet Labs FLNTURTD Combination Flourometer and Turbidity Sensor

Critical CTD Sensors

The CTD system will be used to mount echosounder transducers for calibrations at station 1 (VA Can).

MET Sensors

Air temperature
Wind speed and direction

Sample Storage

Freezer -70°C 25 cu. ft.
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:
Winch Notes:

Wire use and application

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

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: no Type: 

Over the Side Equipment

Will you be bringing any equipment (winches, blocks, etc.) that lowers instruments over the side? yes
Details: A J9/J13 transducer system will be lowered over the side for the TL experiment. It can be lowered with winches on the ship.

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: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:
4L of 37% formaldehyde will be brought onboard (held in fume hood or chemical locker as appropriate) and used to preserve fish/zooplankton samples collected by nets.

Will also bring ~ 2 L of 95% ethanol to be used for preservation of zooplankton/fish samples collected by nets.  Wasn't sure whether to include that in haz material form.

Radioactive Material


Additional Information

Is night time work anticipated on this cruise?yes
Specialized tech support (Seabeam, coring, other):
Night time CTD cast and net tows will be conducted.
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:
7 free-fall moorings. Each has a built-in anchor. They have no surface expression, and weigh about 600 kg each. The moorings will be pre-assembled and dropped from the A-frame.

The science compliment will be close to maximum. They will have one person (Carmen) assigned as the mooring tech.

There will be a hand lowered (5-10 meters) transducer (about 75 lbs).
Shipboard instruments required:
EK80 - Yes
Multibeam - Not critical, would like to us it to confirm landing locations
CTD - They have some instruments that they would like to mount to the CTD frame with hose clamps after removing some bottles. The CTD will be used to calibrate the bottom lander.

They have a mid-water net (450 meters) they would like to tow at 1-2 knots using the CTD cable.

Expect about 14 CTD casts interspersed with net tows. Need to have plan to switch wire between blocks.