The SAVE Project
Physical and biological processes of the pelagic ecosystem have a high spatial and temporal variability, whose study is possible only through a high resolution and synoptic observation. For this reasons a new sliding vehicle (SAVE) has been designed, to provide continuous profiles of physical and optical measurements on the top 200 m of the water column. SAVE slides along the cable between the surface and a depressor, that is towed at a fixed depth. It will be composed by an underwater unit, an on board unit and a data transmission system to the ship.
The developed activities comprehend:
– realization, deployment and navigation test of the prototype of the underwater unit (SAVE depressor);
– realization and test of the control probes (pitch, roll, stability, deep);
– acquisition of data from trim control;
– realization of the first prototype of the SAVE vehicle.
The first tests were carried out during two different cruises, on May 26th and 28th, 2004, on board of the R/V ‘Luigi Sanzo’ of the CNR IAMC, section of Messina.
The first depressor was realized in PVC and was deployed to test his behaviour in the water, at different depths; for this reason a cylinder pressure vessel was installed on the SAVE depressor. Inside the cylinder there are: a depth sensor (miniature pressure transducer) and a stability sensor (a biaxial inclinometer sensor).
The first prototype of the vehicle comprehended a simulacre of the SAVE (realized in white PVC) containing CTD probe, a fluorimeter and PAR sensor. It was connected to the depressor cable through a sliding system of teflon, and it permitted to acquire the physical-chemical and biological parameters in the water till the depressor depth.
Other new technological development in MFSTEP VOS are underway, for the realization of multiparametric probes to be used with ships of opportunity.