Rockland Announced as Industry Partner to build 11,000m rated Hadal Water Column Profiler

On Monday the W.M. Keck Foundation announced USD $1.2M of funding to build a Hadal Water Column Profiler (HWCP) that will permit new exploration and understanding of the ocean’s deepest regions.

This uniquely capable profiling instrument will, for the first time:

• enable high quality physical, chemical, and biological sampling of the water column from the sea surface to the seafloor at 11km (36,000 ft) depth;
• withstand hundreds of cycles in and out of hadal pressures; and
• provide observations needed to illuminate important and vexing problems, such as how the deep ocean trenches are ventilated.

This three-year project will be lead by the University of Hawaií Mānoa, involving a highly qualified team of scientists, engineers and technicians from the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology.  The UH Mānoa team includes Dr. Glenn Carter, a physical oceanographer who made the first turbulent mixing measurements in the ~5km deep Samoan Passage, the primary flow pathway of Antarctic Bottom Water into the North Pacific; Dr. Jeffrey Drazen, a deep-sea ecologist and a founding member of the Hadal Ecosystems Studies (HADES) program and chief scientist for a hadal cruise to the Mariana Trench; Dr. Bruce Howe, the lead investigator on the Aloha Cabled Observatory, the deepest such observatory in the world; and Dr. Chris Measures, a chemical oceanographer who was one of the authors of the international GEOTRACES Science Plan.

HWCP industry partners include Rockland Scientific Inc., who will provide a custom turbulence sensor payload, and Ron Allum Deepsea Services who will provide the flotation, pressure tolerant batteries and design consulting. Rockland has previously supplied UH Mānoa with a 6000m Deep Ocean Vertical Microstructure Profiler profiler and Ron Allum was lead engineer and co-designer of the Deepsea Challenger, which took James Cameron to the Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench in 2012.

The complete UH Foundation news release can be found here

HWCP Concept Drawing