2021 EM 304 Sea Acceptance Testing and Mapping Shakedown

Expedition Features

The expedition features below will help you to understand the goals and objectives of the mission and provide additional context and information about the places being explored and the science, tools, and technologies being used.

  • Expedition Summary

    From April 16 - May 10, 2021, NOAA Ocean Exploration conducted acceptance testing of a state-of-the-art EM 304 MKII multibeam sonar transducer and ensured that all mapping-related equipment aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer were calibrated and functional for 2021 operations. This expedition was expected to be challenging due to the high stakes EM 304 Sonar Acceptance Testing (SAT), the EK80 38 kHz split-beam transducer acceptance, shake down of the systems after an intense drydock and remobilization period, and the fact that it was the first expedition on Okeanos Explorer since March 2020.

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  • How to Sample Water From the Deep Sea

    By Lu Wang

    Sampling and subsequent analyses of water at depth can help us further understand the environmental and biological characteristics of the ocean. One way to sample water throughout the water column is through the use of Niskin bottles.

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  • Water Column Exploration Gets An Upgrade

    By Adrienne Copeland

    To survey the water column, split-beam echosounders use a transducer mounted to the hull of a ship to send out a continuous wave ping at a specific frequency and “listen” for the echoes to return from objects the sound encounters. In 2017 and 2021, two of the ship’s echosounders were upgraded from EK60s to EK80s.

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  • Paving the Way with a Wider Swath

    By Colleen Peters

    NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer has so many different technologies onboard that the NOAA crew and staff responsible for operating the ship’s suite of scientific equipment continuously consider when is the most appropriate time to upgrade each particular system. Recently the EM302 deepwater multibeam, which has been operated nearly every day the ship has been offshore since her original commissioning in 2008 as the very first of this model in the world, was reaching the end of its life cycle when NOAA decided to move forward with an upgrade to the new model EM304 MkII rather than wait until there was an issue.

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  • Expedition Plan

    NOAA Ocean Exploration will begin the 2021 operations aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer with a 25-day expedition, April 16 - May 10, to assess the functionality and ensure readiness of mapping-related equipment, including a new state-of-the-art EM 304 multibeam sonar transducer.

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