NIO profiler to aid researchers in under-water investigations

Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) has developed the AVP, which is a US-patented technology development of the Marine Instrumentation Group here.

"By design, the AVP floats vertically on the sea surface, and when in motion it is propelled in a downward direction by a brushless underwater motor run at a constant speed," the NIO website, www.nio.org, mentions.

"As safety measures, an echo sounder is mounted on its nose cone to detect the seabed and it is trimmed to make it lightly buoyant so as to ascend without propulsion after a dive," it said.

The researchers expect that the underwater investigations would be assisted with this aide that carries wet sensors of salinity, temperature, chlorophyll-a, turbidity, and Dissolved Oxygen (DO).

Scientists said that on breaking sea surface, the AVP transmits acquired high resolution time stamped sensor profiles with its GPS coordinates over a high speed RF (Radio Frequency) link to users in a nearby ship/trawler or by satellite modem to a shore laboratory at NIO.

"A Graphical User Interface (GUI) enables the laptop user to check system health, sensor values and to configure a mission for single dives or for multiple unsupervised dives that offer adequate statistics on the variability of profile shape," NIO scientists said.

They said that the profiler has important applications in Environmental Monitoring of Coastal waters and in related Impact Assessment studies.

Apart from extensive use in coastal waters, it has been used without changes in estuaries, fresh water reservoirs and dams for rapid time series profiling of these water bodies.

The NIO is one of the constituent laboratories of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.

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