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NAVAL RESEARCH LABORATORY

BIO-OPTICAL PHYSICAL POP-UP ENVIRONMENTAL RECONNAISSANCE SYSTEM (BOPPERS)


ADVANTAGES Autonomous measurement: both optical and physical properties of the water column can be autonomously measured at a single location over extended periods of time. Fixed location: measurements at a fixed location can be easier to interpret for operational and scientific purposes, and limits risk of system loss. Trawl-resistance: the form factor of the bottom mooring and the bottomup configuration of the profiling unit greatly reduce the likelihood of damage from ship trawling. Improved antenna system: allows for more reliable real-time data transmission of measured properties. Improved software and hardware systems: better integration allows for complex configuration of data collection protocols and data flow. APPLICATIONS Harbor protection Marine park monitoring Integrated coastal observing systems Environmental protection monitoring Coastal prediction systems Satellite algorithm development and validation The patent-pending NRL system, equipped with advanced instrumentation, includes the capability to simultaneously collect measurements of physical and bio-optical properties. Physical measurements: temperature, salinity, pressure, currents, waves. Bio-optical measurements: beam-attenuation coefficient, backscattering coefficient at 3 wavelengths, downwelling irradiance at 7 wavelengths, chlorophyll, phycoerythrin, and colored dissolved organic matter fluorescence.

The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed a shallow water environmental profiler that autonomously measures physical and optical properties of the water column at periodic, user-specified intervals over an extended time period (weeks to months). The profiler is a trawlresistant bottom mooring equipped with a bottom-up profiler. Data are collected and stored on-board, and can be transmitted in near-real-time to a land station when the profiler surfaces.

The complete measurement data set is archived on the unit and a user-specified subset is transmitted on the next ascent to a land station using Iridium satellite communications, when the profiler float is at the surface. This system provides a unique capability of monitoring water column properties at a fixed location and broadcasting data for operational use, while maintaining a non-interfering trawl -resistance posture. Advanced Control Features: Custom-designed hardware and software control system developed to integrate all the sensors, data flow, storage, and transmission. Programmable, dynamic configuration for event scheduling. Base and profiling unit electrically isolated; computers communicate via inductive coupling, enabling event coordination and synchronization, as well as real-time updates to the system configuration. Inductive charging system is also employed to recharge the profiler batteries from the larger bank of batteries in the base unit, to achieve a maximum power budget.

A small profiling unit was designed to optimally accommodate all the sensors within the required space confines, but with adequate buoyancy for non-powered ascent during vertical profiles.

IDENTIFICATION NUMBER: OCN17

References Book, J.W., P. Martin, M. Rixen, J. Dykes, D. Wang, S. Ladner, M. Tudor, and J. Chiggiato. 2008. Real-Time Coastal Monitoring and Prediction for Operations and Research. In 2007 NRL Review, Naval Research Laboratory, 4555 Overlook Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20375-5320, pp. 187-190. Book, J., M. Rixen, A. Carta, M. Hulbert, A. Quaid, E. Coelho, V. Grandi, and L. Gualdesi, 2007: Shallow Water Environmental Profiler in Trawl-resistant Real-time Configuration (SEPTR) Used for Frontal Dynamics Research, In 2007 Rapp. Comm. Int. Mer Medit., Vol. 38, pg. 130, CIESM Congress (Istanbul, 2007), CIESM: The Mediterranean Science Commission, Monaco. Related U.S. Patent Application: 13/750,642, pending: Licenses are available to companies with commercial interest.

Technology Transfer
For more information contact: Rita Manak, Ph.D. Head, Technology Transfer Office (202) 767-3083 rita.manak@nrl.navy.mil