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Images: Submerged Autonomous Launch Platforms

The deep-water mooring deployed in the Labrador Sea is a long line stretching from the anchor on the sea floor (at 9,000 feet) to the buoy that holds it upright (300 feet beneath the surface). Sensors fastened along its length measure water properties, and the two SALP launch platforms are attached at around 1,500 feet to detect passing eddies of warmer water. (See animation below by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Doing some last-minute checks in the workshop, Senior Engineer Jim Valdes (left) fits a yellow profiling float into the 8-foot frame of a new instrument, the Submerged Autonomous Launching Platform (SALP), as Engineering Assistant Dave Wellwood steadies the frame. This SALP and its twin, visible to the left, were deployed in the Labrador Sea inSeptember. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Catch! In the workshop, a spring-loaded clasp holding the float is released, and the float is ejected as if a person's two thumbs pushed it away from the frame. Here it falls into Jim Valdes' and Amy Bower's hands. When deployed 1,500 feet under water, the central controller will trigger the clasp and shove the float into a swirling eddy passing by the mooring that holds the SALP frame. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Kate Fraser (left), science teacher at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Mass., came along on Amy Bower?s cruise to the Labrador Sea aboard the research vessel Knorr in September 2007. As part of Bower?s innovative outreach project with Perkins, Fraser helped interpret the seagoing experience for her visually impaired students. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

On a cold wet night in the Labrador Sea near Greenland, Amy Bower, chief scientist on the research cruise, warms up with cocoa while waiting for the deployment of nearly 9,000 feet of line for her deep-water mooring. (Dave Sutherland, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)