The RV Simon Stevin: home of the newest oceanographic tools for

The RV Simon Stevin: home o f the newest oceanographic tools fo r
scientists
C attrijsse Andre, Thanos G kritzalis, Karen Rappé, M ichiei T ’Jampens and Wim Versteeg
Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), InnovOcean site, Wandelaarkaai 7, 8400 Oostende, Belgium
E-mail: [email protected] vliz.be
The research vessel Simon Stevin, operating m ainly in the Belgian part o f the North Sea, has been
servicing marine scientists fo r alm ost tw o years. W ith a high resolution m ultibeam , a current
profiler, a dynam ic position ing system, tw o laboratories, a large aft A-fram e and a data-acquisition
system the ship is well designed to support marine science. Moreover the low underw ater noise
generated by the vessel allows acquisition o f high q u a lity acoustic data.
Since its com m issioning the RV Simon Stevin has been fu rth e r equipped w ith high tech instrum ents
and sam pling e quipm ent to provide technological su pp ort fo r various marine research disciplines:
■ A flo w -c y to m e te r collects images and a set o f physical m easurem ents o f each particle in a water
sample allow ing species ide ntifica tion o f m icroplankton;
■ The Video Plankton Recorder (VPR) allows autom ated detection o f plankton th ro ug h the
collection o f in-situ images and real tim e image analysis while being towed;
■ The ZooSCAN, a lab image analysis to ol, identifies in an autom ated way Zooplankton;
■ The Sediment Profile Imaging (SPI) camera provides in situ im aging o f organism -sedim ent
relationships on the seafloor obtained by a vertical cross section o f the se dim e n t/w ater interface;
■ A v id eo -cam era fram e inspects and surveys underw ater features in real-tim e;
■ A dedicated winch operates the VPR, the SPI and the camera fram e;
■ The ROV Genesis gathers seabed samples to g e th e r w ith videos and images o f the seafloor and
underw ater structures.
The underway data acquisition system collects continuously data on
tem perature and chlorophyll-a fluorescence and has been upgraded w ith:
sea surface
salinity,
■ A Fast Repetition Rate Fluorom eter (FRRf) to acquire data th a t are used to estim ate prim ary
p roductivity;
■ A nutrient analyser to measure concentrations o f Nitrate, Phosphate and Silicate;
■ A pH sensor (ISFET type)
■ An Oxygen sensor (optode)
■ pCOz analysers to determ ine C02 concentrations in air and in water;
■ A Submersible U ltraviolet N utrient Analyser (SUNA) to measure Nitrate.
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