R/V Neil Armstrong and R/V Atlantis arrived home in #WoodsHole together on Monday and did a rare double docking. Armstrong Capt. Kent Sheasley brought his ship in bow-first. Derek Bergeron had to show off Atlantis' maneuverability to bring his ship in stern-first.
Twice each year, scientists, engineers, and technicians make three short (7-10 day) trips on the research vessel Neil Armstrong to service and replace moorings that make up the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Pioneer Array 100 miles south of Martha's Vineyard. The trips require that the ship be packed full of gear on the way out and back. The time in Woods Hole between individual trips are short, however, which means that each turnaround in port must be a carefully choreographed operation involving ship's crew, dock crew, and many others to ensure that old gear is removed and new gear is loaded in time for the ship to keep to its busy schedule. Watch as everyone makes the turnaround happen over the course of about 28 hours in port in a timelapse that lasts about three and a half minutes.
WHOI's new research vessel Neil Armstrong is equipped with an EK80 broadband acoustic echo sounder. It uses a wide range of sound frequencies to give scientists the ability to identify and distinguish among different types of marine life in the depths.
The continental shelfbreak in the waters off New England is an area where a spectacular abundance and diversity of marine life aggregate year-round. The Pioneer Array, a part of the NSF-funded Ocean Observatories Initiative, was placed there to help scientists explore the processes that make the shelfbreak so productive.