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Compact-Propulsion Option for Profiling Systems (C-PrOPS)

Compact-Propulsion Option for Profiling Systems (C-PrOPS™) is a next-generation upgrade to Biospherical Instruments’ Compact Optical Profiling System (C-OPS) that adds 3-dimensional position control to the free-fall profiler using state-of-the-art digital thrusters, thus allowing a C-OPS profiler to be maneuvered similarly to a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), and be dynamically positioned away from a boat or shoreline and into the desired sampling location.

The upgrade replaces the standard backplane with an thruster-equipped backplane that supports a new central housing containing the electronic circuitry for the thruster control. Newly integrated is an innovative ProPower box that supports a number of new technologies, including:

  • Thruster control telemetry
  • Power conditioning for the digital thrusters;
  • Personnel protection circuitry to avoid electrical shocks;
  • TRAC thruster control pad with communications display; and
  • Parallel C-TRAC wireless remote thruster control interface.

The use of thrusters helps avoid platform perturbations (e.g., ship shadow), supports profiling in situations where it is not possible to position the profiler by another means (e.g., allowing the wind to move a boat away), or adds the capability of performing profiles from a beach or nearshore structures (e.g. dock, jetty, breakwater, etc.).

Presently, the thrusters are mounted opposite the radiance aperture to minimize shading effects. There are three C-PrOPS systems being in a variety of marine environments, including oceanic (Case I), bays and lakes, and even mangrove systems. In the future, the desire is to be able to execute programmable sampling options to further slow the descent rate of the profiler to improve surface loitering, and to stop the descent at a predetermined depth to prevent bottom impacts. C-PrOPS is also part of autonomous sampling research and development, wherein one or more thrusters function as a "winch" to haul the profiler to the surface for a free-fall descent. This concept is part of the NASA/BSI co-development called the Compact-Submersible Autonomous Winch (C-SAW).


Last Updated on Friday, 06 December 2019 16:10