2 November, 1995

November 2, 1995

Location: 62 11' south 57 06' west

Update: 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 data file.

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

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