FACILITIES & TECHNOLOGY
Long Term Environmental Observatory-15
LEO-15 consists of two unmanned seafloor observatories 1.5
kilometers apart approximately 9 kilometers off the central
coast of New Jersey. They have been linked to the Rutgers
Marine Field Station in Tuckerton, NJ, with an electro-optic
cable which contains optical fibers to transfer information
and copper wires to transfer power. This link provides a real-time
connection between the undersea world off the coast of New
Jersey and the Internet, providing scientists, engineers,
and educators with realtime access to the sea. It permits
them to monitor experiments and to alter their direction from
essentially any classroom, office building, or laboratory
in the world. The cable also provides continuous and ample
electrical power, a luxury denied to experimentalists using
traditional methods to study the ocean.
Upgrade by WetSat
Mid-Atlantic Bight National Undersea Research Center
at Rutgers University has created a new academic/industrial
partnership with WETSAT
Inc., in collaboration with Satlantic
and WET Labs,
to upgrade the Long-term Ecosystem Observatory at 15
meters (LEO-15) Program. WETSAT has been contracted
by Rutgers to provide a state-of-the-art turnkey observatory
replacement for the current system. The new system will
enable operators to monitor and control the underwater
observatory securely and remotely while providing real-time
data to users world wide via the Internet. Information
from this system provides a picture of the underwater
environment to scientists, educators, and others around
LEO-15 is an electro-optic cabled underwater ocean
observing system consisting of a suite of sophisticated
marine instrumentation connected to a node on the seafloor.
Located in the coastal waters of New Jersey, near Tuckerton,
the system provides real-time information for the rapid
envirnonmental assessment and physical/biological forecasting.
WETSAT Inc. will provide their innovative Scientific
Instrument Interface Module (SIIM) and the Data Acquisition
and Control Network (DACNet) Ocean Observatory Operating
System. These tools will vastly improve the available
experiment bandwith, significantly improve power monitoring
and control, and with viewing via the Internet.
The SIIM is a modular, scalable, state-of-the-art underwater
sensor-interfacing tool for cabled observatories and
other real-time acquisition applications. This interface
tool will feed into what is essentially the "brain"
of the system, called DACNet that resides on the shore
station server. The revolutionary DACNet developed by
Satlantic Inc. of Halifax, N.S. has been utilized in
various observatory programs (both moored and cabled)
in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, the Mediterranean, and
the Eastern United States. DACNet was chosen because
of its demonstrated ability to provide flexible control
and reliable results in operational systems. DACNet
automatically controls all sensor scheduling and performs
data handling functions from collection to storage and
real-time forwarding to designated users. Authorized
operators can control, monitor and configure the infrastructure
as well as sensors, remotely, from virtually any computer
on the Internet. Authorized users can monitor their
sensors and receive email updated of critical events
in the ocean.
The real-time capabilities of LEO-15 allow for adaptive
sampling of episodic events and integration into ocean
forecast models. The goal of this observatory and those
in the network is to produce a picture of the underwater
environment as detailed as that which a human has oof
the world above the ocean, with the information presented
on time and distance scales important to individual
organisms. This observatory is one part of the expanding
network of ocean observatories that will form the basis
of a national observation network.
Node Junction Box
of COOL SIIM
Ports PowerPoint File
Shore PowerPoint File
Each node already has a vertical
profiler operated by an electric winch controlled via
the Internet to provide water column profiles of temperature,
salinity, light transmission, and chlorophyll fluorescence.
In addition, each node has a channel of video to provide continuous
bottom imagery and two hydrophones to provide information
on the sound environment.
Both nodes have the following sensors:
- CTD (conductivity-temperature-depth)
- Optical Backscatter
- Precision pressure sensor
All sensors except the precision pressure sensor are located
on the vertical profiler, thus allowing them to be positioned
anywhere in the water column. These sensors in general are
operational at all times except when being serviced. As a
result, LEO-15 generates an enormous amount of raw data 24
hours a day, 365 days a year. This data is made available
to scientists world wide via an archiving system.
DATA on the Internet:
Live data is available from these sensors at the following
(Current updates may be unavailable if
the system is being serviced.)
Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV's)
ROV's are used increasingly to conduct undersea
research for specialized applications. The size and capability
range from the low cost ROV (LCROV) to much larger, more elaborate
systems. LCROV's are small, tethered vehicles that can generally
be operated to depths of approximately 230 m (755 ft.) from
ships of opportunity. They have thrusters, color still and
video photographic systems, and a simple single function manipulator
arm. NURP owns both Phantom and Mini-Rover LCROV's.Several
larger deep-ocean ROV's have been developed and maintained
for scientific use by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Deep Submergence Operations Group (WHOI DSOG), the Monterey
Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), and the Institute
of Ocean Sciences (IOS). Also, under a memorandum of agreement
between NURP and the U.S. Navy, several larger ROV's are available
MEDEA-JASON is a dual vehicle ROV system operated by Woods
Hole Oceanographic Institution, with MEDEA serving as a support
vehicle for JASON. The dual system ROV can carry out detailed,
near-bottom optical and acoustical imaging of the sea floor
or water column. JASON is equipped with a broad array of imaging
systems and a manipulator arm. Both JASON and MEDEA are designed
to operate to a maximum depth of 6,000 m (19,685 ft.). Photo
by J.F. Grassle.
Remotely Operated Vehicles at the
National Undersea Research Center (North Atlantic and Great
The low cost ROV has become a central component
of the research support provided by NURC-NA&GL. The small
size and portability of the ROV and support equipment has
made them ideal for use off vessels of opportunity and for
operations in remote areas and internationally. Additionally,
the viewing capabilities of video and display of sensor data
allow numerous observers to participate in each dive. This
capability makes them particularly useful for educational
REMUS is a low cost autonomous multi-functional
underwater vehicle (AUV) designed to perform survey missions
in water depths from 3 meters to 100 meters.
The REMUS system is comprised of the vehicle and auxiliary
equipment to support its mission and maintenance, as well
as software programs for pre-mission programming, and post
mission data analysis. The REMUS vehicle weighs 80 pounds,
including typical ballasting (trim) weights. It is 62 inches
long and 7.5 inches in diameter. Commands are programmed into
the REMUS onboard computer prior to launch, which give the
vehicle the instructions needed to perform an autonomous search.
The vehicle maintains a programmed speed, depth, and course
using its on-board sensors, motion algorithms, and navigation
systems. The sensors are also used to collect mission data.
An illustration of the REMUS in action is provided in Figure
Figure 1: REMUS
During a mission, the vehicle collects side-scan sonar images
that can be used to detect objects on or near the sea floor.
The vehicle also collects data that can be used to generate
a hydrographic (bathymetric) map, as well as maps of water
currents, water clarity, water temperature, salinity, and
some of its acoustic properties. Since the vehicle knows its
location in latitude and longitude at all times and this information
is recorded with the collected data, returning to a detected
target or determining its location is a simple task. Data
is stored in the vehicle’s systems until it is downloaded
following recovery. In addition to the data previously described,
information on how the vehicle performed during the mission
is also recorded. This information can be used to show a replay
of the vehicle’s route, and can also be used to analyze
performance characteristics during the mission such as propeller
RPM, heading, depth, battery usage, etc.
The propeller on the aft end of the vehicle drives it through
the water at speeds from 3 to 5 knots. Two horizontal fins
forward of the propeller control the vehicle’s depth
by causing it to angle upward or downward (pitch). Two vertical
fins control the vehicle’s heading, causing it to turn
to port or starboard (yaw). The vehicle must be moving for
these fins to work. When the vehicle is powered up the vertical
fin also provides the operator with visual indications of
possible malfunctions by rotating to its full left or right
The vehicle is positively ballasted to approximately 1 lb.
for operating in most ocean environments. When the vehicle’s
propeller stops turning, the vehicle stops moving, and it
will float to the surface. Operating the vehicle in brackish
or fresh water may require user adjustments to the ballast
to ensure that positive buoyancy is maintained.
The vehicle normally navigates itself while underwater by
computing its range to two acoustic transponders that are
part of the REMUS system. Since GPS satellite signals cannot
be received underwater, vehicle navigation accuracy is relative
to, and dependent upon, the position of the acoustic transponders.
The accuracy of the transponder coordinates determined during
mission planning, and the precision with which the transponders
are placed, determine how accurately the vehicle navigates
itself, which, in turn, determines the accuracy of the positions
of objects detected by the vehicle’s sensors.
The vehicle is powered by rechargeable lithium-ion battery
packs. Removing an external magnet located on the mid-body
vehicle housing turns on power to the vehicle. The magnet
should be in place when the vehicle is not in use to avoid
accidental discharging of the batteries and/or inadvertent
starting of the vehicle. The REMUS has an operational duration
of approximately 9 hours at 5 knots when the batteries are
fully charged. At 3 knots, mission duration of 20 hours is
possible. During mission planning and post-mission analysis,
the vehicle can be powered externally using a Power/Data Interface
Box (provided with system). Using this method reduces battery
drain. The Power/Data Interface Box is also used to recharge
the vehicle’s batteries.
Components of the REMUS system
Components of the REMUS system are listed below. General
physical and functional characteristics of the REMUS are provided
in Table 1.
- REMUS – autonomous underwater vehicle used to perform
- Transponders – acoustic transmit/receive units that
allow the REMUS to determine its position via triangulation.
- The RANGER – used to track the position of the vehicle
in real-time, and/or to send selected commands such as “abort
mission” or “come home” to the vehicle
- Precise Lightweight GPS Receiver (PLGR II) – used
to place the REMUS transponders.
- The Rocky II laptop computer – used to program REMUS
missions, analyze data collected by the vehicle, and view
the operational status of the vehicle.
- CD writer - used with laptop to archive data files for
- The Power/Data Interface Box – used to speed the
transfer of data between the REMUS vehicle and the Rocky
II laptop computer, and to provide external power to the
vehicle for battery charging.
- Transportation containers – two equally sized plastic
shipping/storage containers; one container with an integral
cradle for securing the vehicle, the second container for
protection and transport of REMUS auxiliary equipment.
Weight in air
External Ballast Weight
Transportation Container Dimensions
178 X 41 X 38 cm
70” X 16” X 15”
Vehicle Transportation Container
Weight with Vehicle
Auxiliary Transportation Container
Weight with Equipment
Operating Depth Range
3 m to 20 m
10 ft to 66 ft
Transit Depth Limits
Typical Search Area
800 m X 1000 m
875 yds X 1093 yds
Typical Transponder Range
Operational Temperature Range
0oC to +37.8oC
+32oF to +100oF
-31.7oC to +62.8oC
-25oF to +145oF
0.25 m/s to 2.8 m/s
0.5 knots to 5.6 knots
Maximum Operating Water Current
Maximum Operating Sea State
Sea State 2
kW-hr internally rechargeable Lithium-ion
20 hours at optimum speed
of 3 knots (1.5 m/s)
hours at 5 knots (2.5 m/s)
drive DC brushless motor directly connected to open
three bladed propeller
coupled yaw and pitch fins
mounted magnetic switch
Vehicle External Electrical
1 - Ethernet connector for
vehicle power, battery charging and data transfer,
(1 pin, 2 conductor)
Serial Connector for data transfer, (2 pin, 4 conductor)
status indication of mission plan and all internal
systems, when connected to laptop computer. Clear
go/no-go indication via status LED and rudder fin
indicator, even when not connected to laptop.
baseline, ultra short baseline, dead reckoning
1. General Physical and Functional Characteristics
Mid-Atlantic Bight National Undersea Research Center 's (MAB
NURC) REMUS vehicle comes equipped with the following sensors:
- RDI Up/Down Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP)
- Marine Sonics 600 kHz Sidescan
- WetLabs Optical backscatter
- Ocean Sensors (OS 200) conductivity and temperature
- Pressure sensor
- Heading , pitch and roll
- Optional nose cone module consisting of a specially designed
additional information regarding REMUS and the daily rate,
contact: Rose Petrecca, Director of Marine Operations at (609)
296-5260 Ext. 238, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Slocum Autonomous Underwater Gliders
Slocum Autonomous Underwater Gliding Vehicle (AUGV), built
by Webb Research Corporation (Falmouth, MA), is an integrated
instrument platform designed to operate in the coastal oceans.
It is designed such that, by adjusting its volume to weight
ratio, it dives and climbs in a sawtooth pattern to predetermined
set of waypoints. The result is a low cost, highly adaptable
autonomous underwater vehicle with a very low power requirement.
The user programs the glider via text based mission files,
which instruct the glider to dive and climb to a predetermined
set of waypoints (latitudes and longitudes). Gliders are capable
of communicating with a shore based computer or human user
via high frequency radio transmission as well as by satellite.
The estimated range of operation is 1500km.
While the majority of the glider is reserved for glider mechanics,
battery storage and communication equipment, a section is
devoted specifically to scientific payload. Future plans include
outfitting the vehicles with a suite of miniaturized physical
and bio-optical instrumentation that measure water properties
including temperature and salinity, as well as the absorption
and scattering of light in the water column. These instruments,
combined with the mobility and long-range communication capabilities
of the glider, will provide continuous, near real time information
on ocean physics and biology. This information will help to
improve the accuracy of oceanic forecasts and ground truthing
of ocean color satellite algorithms.
The COOL group is currently focusing on the development and
deployment of a fleet of gliders to continuously patrol the
coastal oceans. In order to achieve this goal, we are employing
some of the same “smart” technologies that NASA
has used in deploying earth-orbiting satellite constellations.
This technology allows the gliders to adjust their current
course based on the previously collected physical and optical
data. When realized, this will allow for 24-hour-a-day data
collection without constant supervision by a human scientist.
The end result will be a glider fleet that will be able to
detect and track oceanic features (i.e.: upwelling events,
red-tides, and coastal eddies) from their formation to dissipation,
improving our current understanding of the dynamical nature
of coastal ecosystems and providing earlier detection of oceanic
features that develop offshore and are advected into coastal
The R/V ARABELLA is a 48 ft (14.6 meter) fiberglass research
vessel, built in 1996 by DUFFY & DUFFY CUSTOM YACHTS,
BROOKLIN, MAINE. The R/V ARABELLA was designed as a near shore
up to 50 miles platform capable of a wide range of scientific
needs such as trawling, grab sampling, diving, seismic profiling,
LWL: 44.5 ft..
MAX BEAM: 17.6 ft.
WORKING DECK: 20x15 ft.
OPEN TRANSOM: 13 ft.
DRAFT: 5 ft.
DISPLACEMENT: 40,000 lbs.
FUEL: 750 gal.
CRUISING SPEED: 15 kts.
MAX SPEED: 19 kts.
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 15 gph (cruising speed).
ARABELLA is powered by a single DETROIT 12V71TA, diesel engine
turning a 38x34, 5 blade wheel. The gear is a TWINDISC, 514,
equipped with Trolling valve for 1 to 2 knot operation. The
vessel has an extensive hydraulic system to supply power for
A-Frame, single drum deck winch, vertical capstan, bow thruster,
and anchor windlass. A-Frame lifting capacity is approximately
2500lbs and can handle dimensions of 10 ft high, with a foot
print of approximately 8 ft. ARABELLA has a mast and boom
capable of over-the-side operations (boom lifting capacity
is 1000 lbs). AC electric is supplied by a single 12.5 Kw
3-phase, 208/110 v, 50 amp NORTHERN LIGHTS M843 generator.
ARABELLA is equipped with a Marine Air reverse cycle heating
and air conditioning system. ARABELLA also has a 17 CFM ROL-AIR
air compressor for supporting surface supplied diving operations.
consist of the following
- 1 Lieca MX300/MX52R DGPS.
- 1 Northstar 800x Loran-C.
- 1 Furuno 36 mile Radar.
- 1 Datamarine Link System.
- 2 Raytheon, Ray 202, VHF Marine Radios.
- 2 Datamarine Digital Depth Sounders.
- 1 Sytex, Amber Depth Sounder.
- 1 Cellular Telephone (609 290-0010)
Deck winch is equipped with a 4-conductor slipring and 900
ft electro-mechanical wire capacity. R/V ARABELLA cond.
- 1 Switlik liferaft-10 person, USCG/SOLAS w/A-pack.
- 6 Cold water immersion suits, STEARNS, USCG #1590, Adult.
- 10 Life jackets, STEARNS USCG, Type 1 Adult.
- 1 30 inch USCG orange life ring w/reflector tape.
- 1 ACR 406 SATELLITE E.P.I.R.B.
- 2 10 lb. CO2 fire extinguishers.
- 1 2.5 lb DRYCHEMICAL fire extinguisher.
- 1 FE243 (Haylon replacement) FireBoy USCG automatic fire
extinguisher system.1 Offshore Flare kit, USCG/SOLAS.
- Additional cold water immersion suits available as needed.
Daily rate is $1,500/8 hr day (cost includes Captain and
fuel). Every hour after 8 hours there will be an additional
hourly charge of $ 187 for a maximum of a 12 hour day. For
further informationplease contact Rose Petrecca, (609) 296-5260
R/V CALETA is a 9 meter aluminum research vessel built in
1991 by Winninghoff Boats Inc. (Rowley, MA). CALETA is designed
for near shore (up to 20 miles) and estuarine research. This
vessel may be adapted to a wide range of scientific needs
such as trawling, benthic sampling, SCUBA diving, seismic
profiling, coring and etc.
29'6" (plus 2' overhang at open transom)
Beam Max: 11'
Working Deck: 13'2" x 9'
Draft (I/O down): 2'9" (+/-)
Displacement: 9300 lbs
Fuel: 150 gal.
Powered by a single ADQ41B diesel engine to a DuoProp outdrive.
This gives CALETA a top speed of 14-18 kts (load displacement),
with a fuel consumption of 2-4 gph
Deck gear consists of:
- A-Frame rated at 6000 lbs, hydraulically actuated.
- Hydraulic winch with capstan, rated at 1500 lbs; lift
capacity with full drum (1/4" wire 1700'). Winch has
- Mast and Boom with 2000 lb electric winch and 90' 1/4"
- A 2800 watt inverter (1500 watts continuous) provides
110v clean power for computers and other electronic equipment.
and other equipment consists of the following:
- NORTHSTAR 800 GPS/Loran
- MAGNAVOX MX300/MX50R DGPS
- FURUNO #1830 radar
- DATAMARINE digital depth indicator
- LOWRANCE recording fathometer
- STANDARD VHF
- Cellular telephone (908) 930-5889
Main cabin has one portable 6' lab bench on port side and
a fixed 3' bench aft to port.
Cabin forward provides 4 work benches or bunks and a sink.
Safety equipment consists of the following:
- 1 six-man Switlick coastal life raft.
- Class B EPIRB
- 10 life jackets
- 6 Stearns Survival suits
CALETA is an uninspected vessel. It is under 300 gross tons
and does not carry passengers for hire.
Daily rate is $1,100/8 hr day (cost includes Captain and
Every hour after 8 hours there will be an additional hourly
charge of $137 for a maximum of a 12 hour day. For further
information please contact Rose Petrecca, (609) 296-5260 ext
highly skilled SCUBA dive team is available to support appropriate
projects at depths less than 30 m (100 feet). The Institute's
9 meter coastal vessel R/V CALETA provides support for the
diving operation. Contact the MAB-NURC Technical Director,
Rosemarie Petrecca, for detailed
information. Photos by E.L. Creed.
The Science Dive Program
The Scientific Diving Program for Rutgers University’s
Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences (IMCS) was established
in 1990 to support scientific research and control diving
activities conducted under the auspices of this institution.
The Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences is an organizational
member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS),
an organization dedicated to the advancement of scientific
diving through the promotion of comprehensive training and
educational programs. The IMCS diving program permits the
scientific research community to access the undersea environment
either as a participating research diver or through the services
of the core members of IMCS’s research dive team.
The diving program operates under the guidance of the Diving
Control Broad which sets forththe regulations and standards
for training and diving activities. All diving conducted under
the auspices of IMCS is subject to the guidelines established
by the Diving Control Board and described in the IMCS’s
Scientific Diving Manual. The diving program is managed by
the Scientific Diving Officer in accordance with the directives
of the Diving Control Board. All candidates for the scientific
diving program must demonstrate a proficiency in their knowledge
of the scientific diving program’s guidelines, as well
as, their knowledge and skills for diving in a safe and effective
manner. Diving under the auspices of the IMCS is not permitted
unless a candidate has met the qualifications as set forth
by the Diving Control Board and received the approval of the
Scientific Diving Officer.
diving program is located at IMCS’s Tuckerton Marine
Field Station. This facility is situated near the Little Egg
Harbor Inlet in southern New Jersey. The diving program currently
has two research vessels available for its operations the
R/V Caleta and the R/V Arabella. The R/V Caleta is a 9m aluminum
hulled vessel capable of supporting SCUBA and portable surface
supply systems. The R/V Arabella is the program’s primary
diving platform. This vessel has a 4.8m (16 feet) beam, an
overall length of 14.3m (48 feet), and is equipped to support
SCUBA and surface supplied diving modes.
major emphasis of the diving program has been to support and
conduct undersea research activities at an inner continental
shelf site located directly offshore of the Tuckerton Field
Station. This site is situated in 15m (50 feet) of water and
has been designated as LEO-15. This LEO (Long-term Ecosystem
Observatory) is the first facility to be established as part
of an electro-optical ocean sensing network which will provide
the scientific community with the ability to monitor natural
and anthropogenic changes in the marine environment in situ
and real time. Research components that the scientific program
diving program members are involved with include: habitat
characteristics and the relationship of habitat on the recruitment
of marine organisms; effects of physical, environmental, and
biological processes on fisheries; coastal processes, e.g.
as monitoring the processes involved with upwelling events;
and, the development and enhancement of reliable sampling
and sensing tools.
For additional information regarding IMCS’s diving
Joseph A. Dobarro, Diving Safety Officer at (609) 296-5260
Ext. 239, Fax (609) 296-1024, E-mail email@example.com
Rose Petrecca, Director of Marine Operations at (609) 296-5260
Ext. 238, Fax (609) 296-1024, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rutgers Marine Field Station
The Rutgers University Marine Field Station (RUMFS) at Tuckerton
is situated at the end of a peninsula adjacent to Little Egg
Inlet and is the site of a former U.S. Coast Guard Lifesaving
Station. Facilities include the R/V CALETA a 30 ft. (9 m)
aluminum hull research vessel, equipped with an A-frame and
winches. The Institute has recently (August 1996) taken delivery
of the R/V ARABELLA, a 48 ft. (14.6 m) fiber glass hull research
vessel. Several small boats, docking facilities for larger
vessels, analytical laboratories, running seawater lab, dark
room, dive locker, dormitories and a classroom also are available.
This field station serves as the shore base for the Institute's
Long-Term Ecosystem Observatory on the continental shelf (LEO-15).
Research activities focus on fishery-related investigations
including recruitment of marine organisms, early life history
studies, and studies of sediment transport on the continental