28 May 2018
CIIMAR-UP research team integrates NETOS-SOI project
Catarina Magalhães, Maria Paola Tomasino, Renato Mendes researchers at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Marine and Environmental Research, University of Porto (CIIMAR), just left for an oceanographic campaign in the Pacific Ocean under the NETOS-SOI project “Exploring Fronts with Multiple Robots”, led by João Borges de Sousa from Underwater Systems and Technology Laboratory, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto (LSTS).
For three weeks, May 28-June 17 2018, the researchers will stay on board the Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI) research vessel “FALKOR” together with an international and multidisciplinary team (UP-FEUP, UP-FCUP, UAveiro, UAlgarve, URhode Island, NTNU, Harvard U. Columbia U.) , with important contributions from NASA-Ames, SINTEF/Norway, MBARI, to demonstrate a novel approach to observe the changing ocean with persistent networked autonomous vehicles. The approach builds on innovative open-source communication and autonomy software developed by LSTS-Porto University that enables networked underwater, surface and air vehicles to find, track, and sample dynamic features of the ocean. Another novel aspect of this project is the deployment of a shipboard OceanSpace Center (OSC) to be interfaced with R/V Falkor communications and computer systems as part of a ship-based vehicle system. The OSC will support 24/7 ocean space management, intervention of scientists in planning and execution control loops, and outreach activities. Yet another novel aspect of the project will be the scientific study of the changing work-practice by a resident ethnographer with experience in oceanographic and space missions.
The target area will be the Subtropical Front, located approximately 1,000 nautical miles off the coast of Southern California and represents a boundary between cool, fresh, northern waters and warmer, saltier southern waters. In this area, the team will deploy several autonomous vehicles to find, track and sample physical, chemical and biological features of the ocean on time-space scales not previously possible by ship or aircraft alone.
Aboard Falkor Catarina and Maria Paola will be part of the biological/biogeochemical team responsible for surveying water column across Subtropical Front to characterize gradients of Microbial Diversity and biogeochemical functions (using genomic approaches) and to understand the physical forces that drives biological/biogeochemical gradients across Subtropical Front. Renato will be responsible for supporting scientific planning decisions, gathering near-real-time remote sensing and numerical modelling data. José da Silva and Mafalda Baptista will support research activities from shore and will be involved in data/samples analyses and processing.
Further info about the campaign:
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