Biospherical OCULLAR™ The prototype Ocean Color Underwater Low Light Advanced Radiometer (OCULLAR) resulted from a collaboration between Biospherical Instruments and NASA/GSFC scientist Dr. Stanford Hooker. OCULLAR is designed to measure light in natural waters under low-light conditions across multiple wavelength regions, from the ultraviolet to the near-infrared, with 14 decades of dynamic range. The instrument pairs a miniature photomultiplier tube (PMT) with a Biospherical microradiometer coupled to a silicon photodetector. A microprocessor embedded in the microradiometer activates the PMT when low-light conditions are detected, and is powered off under higher light conditions where the silicon detector microradiometers take over. The first field campaign using the prototype successfully collected data under moonlit skies, including using a BioSHADE (shadowband) accessory to measure direct and diffuse components of moonlight. In addition to OCULLAR systems supporting ocean color research, versions optimized for studying predation and other nocturnal behaviors are possible.
BioSalT™ is the commercialized version of the Compact-Conductivity Accessory for Profiling Systems (C-CAPS), which is being built for NASA. C-CAPS adds a conductivity-temperature (CT) probe to C-OPS, so water masses can be identified wherein temperature alone is inadequate, e.g., in the arctic or estuaries. The CT probe uses a state-of-the-art 4 electrode conductive element and patented circuitry. This is coupled with a fast response, high resolution thermistor with millidegree stability and resolution. The design is resistant to fouling and is flow optimized for the C-OPS profiler. BioSalT is a valuable addition to sampling objectives being pursued as part of continuing research associated with developing autonomous sampling capabilities. The present embodiment provides ideal water flow during vertical profiling, while protecting the sensing elements and adding minimally to instrument shadow. The sensor electronics are contained within the same housing as the BioPrOPS support electronics in the interior of the C-OPS backplane.
BioPrOPS™ is the commercialized version of the Compact-Propulsion Option for Profiling Systems (C-PrOPS), which is being built for NASA. C-PrOPS allows a C-OPS instrument to be maneuvered like a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), thereby allowing the profiler to be dynamically positioned away from a boat or shoreline and into the desired sampling location. Presently, the thrusters are mounted opposite the radiance aperture to minimize shading effects. 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).