PI: Steven Moore (California State University, Monterey Bay)
Award Dates: August 1, 2013 — July 31, 2015
Funds are requested to design and construct a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and benthic sensor platform, both with a working depth of 100 m, for marine research projects by community college and university students. Last year, a C-DEBI subaward enabled students at CSU Monterey Bay (CSUMB) to develop robust ROVs with joystick controls and HD video cameras in support of shallow-water K-12 education and outreach programs. This request builds on that earlier ROV design, but tailors capabilities to more advanced student projects by extending the working depth from 15 m to 100 m, adding a microbial sample collection system, and creating a ROV-deployable benthic sensor platform for habitat characterization. The increased depth will allow students to study marine life all the way from the surface down into the mysterious “Twilight Zone,” a relatively unexplored ocean layer beyond the reach of scuba divers that is characterized by significant gradients in light, temperature, oxygen, water motion and other biologically important parameters. The ROV, sampler, and sensor platform will support classes, student clubs, and individual student research projects at a community college and a 4-year university. All designs will be made freely available through the C-DEBI web site.