SeaCycler: A moored open-ocean profiling system for the upper ocean in extended self-contained deployments

TitleSeaCycler: A moored open-ocean profiling system for the upper ocean in extended self-contained deployments
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsSend U, Fowler G., Siddall G., Beanlands B., Pittman M., Waldmann C., Karstensen J, Lampitt R.
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Date Published2013/07
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0739-0572
Accession NumberWOS:000322126100020
Keywordsatmospheric; Buoy observations; ice; In situ atmospheric observations; Instrumentation; Profilers; sensors; vertical profiler

The upper ocean, including the biologically productive euphotic zone and the mixed layer, has great relevance for studies of physical, biogeochemical, and ecosystem processes and their interaction. Observing this layer with a continuous presence, sampling many of the relevant variables, and with sufficient vertical resolution, has remained a challenge. Here a system is presented that can be deployed on the top of deep-ocean moorings, with a drive mechanism at depths of 150-200 m, which mechanically winches a large sensor float and smaller communications float tethered above it to the surface and back down again, typically twice per day for periods up to 1 year. The sensor float can carry several sizeable sensors, and it has enough buoyancy to reach the near surface and for the communications float to pierce the surface even in the presence of strong currents. The system can survive mooring blowover to 1000-m depth. The battery-powered design is made possible by using a balanced energy-conserving principle. Reliability is enhanced with a drive assembly that employs a single rotating part that has no slip rings or rotating seals. The profiling bodies can break the surface to sample the near-surface layer and to establish satellite communication for data relay or reception of new commands. An inductive pass-through mode allows communication with other mooring components throughout the water column beneath the system. A number of successful demonstration deployments have been completed.

Short TitleJ. Atmos. Ocean. Technol.