Most instruments in our observatory are either affixed to platforms or connected them by extension cable. Using platforms, we can keep instruments off the seafloor and out of the sediment. Platforms also greatly simplify instrument deployment and recovery, as they are transported between ship and seafloor as single units.
The heart of each platform is its junction box, which provides power and communications to the instruments. Incoming 400V DC power can be passed through to secondary instrument platforms or it can be converted to lower voltages (15V, 24V or 48V) required by many instruments. Data streams from the instruments are handled by the junction boxes using either serial or ethernet protocols.
Not all instruments can be placed on a platform, however. Some instruments, like our broadband seismometers, need to be buried in the seafloor sediment. Others, like our bottom pressure recorders and hydrophones, need to sit on the seafloor, a distance away from the platform. All such instruments are connected to the instrument platforms via extension cables, which can be connected and disconnected from the platform by a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) at the seafloor. This approach gives our observatory a modular design, allowing us to attach more instruments later, or detatch the connector cables and recover the platforms for servicing.
To learn more about our individual instrument platforms and their satellite instruments, click the links at right.
Not currently installed.Wally II