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Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center > Sediment Transport Instrumentation Facility (STIF) > Engineering

Sediment Transport Instrumentation Facility (STIF)


Engineering

The Sediment Transport Instrumentation Facility (STIF) primarily uses off-the-shelf instrumentation and sensors to collect observations.  STIF designs and implements novel configurations for logging of data from sensors, and for deployment of these instruments in a wide range of estuarine, coastal, and ocean environments.  STIF continually evaluates instrument and sensor performance.  Some examples of recent engineering efforts are listed below.

Instrument performance

Instrument performance is reviewed as data from field observations are processed and analyzed.  New measurement systems are documented. Efforts include comparison of dissolved oxygen sensors (Martini et al, 2007), evaluation of RDI ADCP (Martini and Ramsey, 2003), and calibration of time-series sonars for bottom observations (Montgomery and Sherwood, 2013).

Data processing and database development

Routines are developed to process selected observations (Cote, et al, 2000).  All observations are made available in the U.S. Geological Survey Oceanographic Time Series Measurement Database (Montgomery et al, 2007).

Deployment systems

A variety of platforms have been developed and constructed for deployment of instruments near the sea floor.  Recent developments include a boundary layer profiler and a sled for bottom stress measurements.

Benthic Boundary Layer Profiler

A profiling arm was added to a tripod to move sensors up and down through the benthic boundary layer.  This instrument system collected repeated optical and acoustic profiles in the 2 m above the seabed. A unique feature of this system is that the same sensors make the observations in the profile, eliminating uncertainty caused by calibration of multiple sensors.  A linux-based embedded system and software to control arm movement was developed and deployed (Sherwood, 2001, Sherwood et al, 2012).

Benthic boundary layer evaluation

A New Instrument for Making Bottom Boundary Layer Evaluations (NIMBBLE) was developed in collaboration with scientists and engineers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Sensors are deployed on a movable sled to obtain estimates of bottom stress caused by waves and currents (Sherwood, 2014).

Divers prepare patterns of known targets for verification of sonar resolution.

Divers prepare patterns of known targets for verification of sonar resolution.

 

Schematic of system designed to control movement and logging of data collected by the Moving Arm Tripod at Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory in 2011.

Schematic of system designed to control movement and logging of data collected by the Moving Arm Tripod at Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory in 2011.

 

Electronics  for controling the moving arm in the open pressure housing.

Electronics for controlling the moving arm in the open pressure housing.

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