Let's take a closer look at the equipment Part 1: CTD
Yesterday, we worked in test deployment of the CTD, before hitting rough weather, to ensure we're all ready when we get to Antarctica.
The CTD is an oceanography instrument used to determine conductivity, temperature and depth of ocean water samples (this is how it gets its name). The instrument is a cluster canisters—that collect samples at different depths—and sensors which measure conductivity (used to determine salinity), temperature and pressure and send data back to the ship in real time.
When the CTD is deployed, they open a door in the side of the ship and send this 6 foot plus structure out the side. Sometimes the seas can be a little rough and flood the deployment room. To be in the room as they deploy you have to be tethered to the boat.
As the CTD descends, it takes data about the water that it sends back to the boat. One of the scientists or technicians works at a station collecting and compiling data to create a profile of the water.
After the CTD is brought back on board the ship, water samples are collected to be tested for salinity, isotopes or other materials of interest later.
Once we've reached our destination, we'll be using the CTD to measure the temperature and salinity of ocean water at different depths near ice streams to determine if warm water is melting ice sheets and glaciers from below.
As for the storm, it hit last night and things were rough. I had trouble walking around and was almost tossed out of bed by the swell. Things are a little calmer this morning, but we're in for another round of rocky weather again later today.