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Project Highlights

SASx Arctic Baseline Project

SASx Science Deck: Instrumentation & Deep-Sea Vehicles

The MARV strategy for mobilizing modular labs and workshops for the SASx project extends to provision of required sampling and observation equipment, analytical instrumentation, and deep-sea vehicles.

Figure 1 illustrates a configuration for the SASx Science Deck mobilized on the Aiviq icebreaking vessel. Laboratory setups are indicated for the modular 12-lab cluster to support the analysis of project samples and are designed for functional flexibility. Each lab is supplied with clean power, internal environmental control, and waste management; and with lab-specific equipment to be specified by project scientists, including analytical instrumentation, fume hoods, low-temperature storage, assay gasses, etc. (Figures 2 and 3). The 12-lab cluster will be enclosed in an insulated shell during SASx expeditions (see SASx Project Overview).

ROVs can be provided through the integration of Global Oceans’ ROV Science Modules with ROVs from Oceaneering’s global fleet of 250 globally-distributed Millennium® Plus and Magnum® Plus commercial ROVs rated to 3,000 or 4,000 meters (Figure 4).

The ROV Science Modules will provide sets of interchangeable sampling and documentation systems that can be customized for a project, including push cores, suction samplers, mini-box cores, storage systems for biological samples, biogeochemical sensors, Niskin bottles, and high-resolution video (Figures 5 - 6). ROVs from the Oceaneering offshore fleet will be project-mobilized by Global Oceans and operated by Oceaneering’s team of science ROV pilots from the Global Explorer (GEX) ROV program.

Global Oceans can also provide dual 6000-meter ROV capacity for the GSP with the Magellan 725 ROV and Ocean Discovery ROV recently acquired from Oceaneering. These vehicles will be re-built and upgraded over the next year into advanced science-dedicated deep-sea vehicles. The 6000-meter Ocean Explorer 6000 towed vehicle from Global Oceans will also be made available for the project for biogeochemical sampling, bathymetric mapping, and visual documentation. These vehicles are 2-body systems that would be deployed at the ship's stern with the A-Frame crane, rather than from the LARS positioned at mid-ships as shown for the 3,000- and 4,000-meter ROVs in Figure 6.

The Atmospheric Instrumentation Suite (AIS) facility, to be built and operated through a partnership between Global Oceans and Argonne National Laboratory, will be made available on selected SASx expeditions for atmospheric measurements (Figure 7). We anticipate that independent funding for AIS deployments in the Arctic Ocean will contribute to the atmospheric component to SASx data potentially as a co-funded component of the program. (See the AIS Project webpage here for more information about this facility).

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