Moon Pool deployments from RSV Nuyina
Deploying equipment over the side or stern of the ship works well in the open ocean and in good weather. But when the weather is particularly rough, or the ship is in sea ice, some research has to stop. But not anymore.
The moon pool is a 13 metre vertical shaft, four metres square, which runs from the science deck, through the ship’s hull, to the open ocean. When its top and bottom hatches are opened the moon pool allows the deployment of equipment such as CTDs (conductivity, temperature and depth instruments), nets, underwater vehicles and other instruments, within the relative comfort and protection of the ship.
Check out the video below to see how it works.
CTDs are the workhorses of oceanography and are regularly deployed from the icebreaker through a side door or the moon pool. These metal rosettes contain up to 36 12-litre plastic bottles and are used to collect water samples at different depths, up to 6,500 metres. The rosette is lowered by a cable to the required depth – usually to the bottom. As the rosette descends and ascends over a few hours, a remotely triggered device allows the water bottles to be closed selectively, so that samples of water are collected at different depths. These water samples are then analysed to provide oceanographers with information about the physical and chemical properties of different water masses.