Monday, May 10, 2010

Day 11 - Extra Ears in the Ocean

While most of the work that we do and the equipment that we use stays on the ship, such as our visual crew with their Big Eyes and the acoustic crew with their arrays, we also place long term acoustic monitors in the ocean to collect data. On SIRENA 10 we have 6 buoys that we will moor on the ocean bottom in water depths down to 1200 meters. Of the 6 buoys, there are 4 different kinds. Four of them are commercial “click” detectors and two of them were built by two of our university partners, just for this work. These detectors will listen and record marine mammal clicks during the four week period that we are on this cruise, although they can actually record for much longer. Before leaving our survey area to return home, we will go back to each buoy location and “call” out with a special transceiver (like an underwater garage door opener) that will signal a special release mechanism on the weighted anchor section to let go. The floats then bring the buoy and its valuable data back to the surface for us to recover and analyze upon our return to the Centre.

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