Friday Harbor Labs tests deep-water 'profiler'

FH Labs Billie Swalla, interim director. - Contributed photo
FH Labs Billie Swalla, interim director.
— image credit: Contributed photo

By Billie Swalla,

FH Labs interim director

Special to the Journal

Are you wondering about the boat that you see off Cantilever Point?

You may see divers in and out of the water this week. An entire team is here to install a "deep profiler" made at the University of Washington Applied Physics Lab in order to test it this week.

Here is a little information about this exciting project that involves an entire team of divers and engineers that are working at the Applied Physics Lab and Oceanography on U.W. Seattle campus.

During February 2013, two seafloor cables were installed from the Friday Harbor Lab pump house to the site of a planned seafloor instrument junction box, in a depth of approximately 32 meters (105 feet). These cables are part of a UW/FHL cabled seafloor facility that will allow the installation, testing and operation of a variety of instruments and sensors, and will allow connection of video cameras, lights, acoustic hydrophones, etc.

One of the initial applications for the facility will be the testing of several systems that are being developed by the U.W. as part of the National Science Foundation’s Ocean Observing Initiative Regional Scale Nodes program. The primary systems that will be tested initially are the RSN shallow profiler and deep profiler systems.

The SP uses a submersible winch to move an instrumented platform up and down through the water column. The SP will be mounted on a frame on the seafloor. The DP is a motorized instrumented vehicle that will move up and down along a mooring cable. Both systems will collect chemical, biological, physical, optical and other data profiles and are scheduled for deployment in 2014 on the RSN system off the coast of Oregon in water depths of 600 to 2,900 meters (1,969 to 9,514 feet).

Friday Harbor Laboratories is pleased to be part of this project, which is a collaboration between the Labs, Oceanography and Applied Physics Lab on the U.W. Seattle campus.



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