November 2, 1995
Location: 62 11' south 57 06' west
We are currently on station working with the OSU team to deploy their ZAPS sled. To
date we are working on our 5th deployment of the sled. Last night and this morning were
experimental times for the OSU crew as they tried to diagnose problems with data
retrieval from the sled,
After about 8 hours of looking at a variety of possible problems, the team identified two
possible sources of trouble for the instruments. Option one was that the extreme cold
might be limiting the electronics in some way and that they would have to come up with a
way to keep the electronics on the sled warmer while it was down making
measurements. The second option was that there might be a problem with the cable
containing wires which connect the electronics on the sled to the computers on the ship.
The solution to the heating problem was to produce a small heating system by soldering
small resisters in parallel to make something like a mini toaster for the electronics. This
helped some, but the real problem was in the cable. That was fixed by making a new
splice that insured that the electronic signals in the cable could be transmitted without
error from the sled to the computers.
It was a high stress time for the scientists, but through cooperative effort they were able
to solve the problem and have been successfully collecting data for most of the day.
They will also be deploying a water collection devise called a CTD or Rosette. It is a
series of collection tubes which can sample water at different depths as the device is
lowered in the water. They can then do chemical analysis of the water samples on board
the ship when the CTD is brought back up.
Today is Larry Lawver's, (the Principle Investigator from UTIG) birthday. Which one is
not public information at this point.
Updates are constantly being made to equipment and software used by the scientists.
They are "tweaking" the equipment to produce the best data possible. There is a
tremendous amount of data that is collected. For the Sea Beam sonar mapping we
produce about twenty five 8 MB files each day or 200MB of data from the Sea Beam
alone each day. Data at the watch station computers is collected at a rate of one piece
of navigation data, depth data, speed, gravity and atmospheric data every second. This
is al stored on board on computer files. All data files must be reviewed to make sure that
there are no problems with the files, so someone is always at a computer checking some
As far a life on the ship goes, everyone looks forward to meals. It is about the only time
that large groups of people have time to interact on the ship. The cooks have prepared a
variety of cookies and sweet treats, so people stop into the galley for snacks and drinks.
It is important to drink lots of water, it helps lessen the symptoms of sea sickness.
After concluding the work with the sled we will head east to begin more Sea Beam