Undersea Vehicles

Traditional sampling (and fishing) techniques can often involve damaging bottom trawls with towed gear. Using advanced tools like the JSLII and ROVs allow scientists to sample and study the ocean depths with remarkable precision and detail.

The R/V Seward Johnson (RVSJ) is a 204-foot oceanographic and submersible-support research vessel with berthing for 40, including 11 ship’s crew, 6 submersible crew, 2 marine technicians, and 21 science personnel. Wet lab, dry lab, environmental chamber, machine shop, and portable specialty laboratories are available. View the full specifications.

The Johnson-Sea-Link II (JSL II) is a scientific research submersible capable of carrying 4 persons (2 crew, 2 scientists) to 1000 m. The JSL II has an extensive suite of scientific sampling tools, sensors, video equipment, and a dexterous manipulator arm (full specifications). The JSL II will enable scientists to get an up‐close view of the health of mesophotic and deep reefs, the deep sea benthos, and mid-water environments, and will allow delicate collection of specimens for petroleum stress and toxicity studies, as well as water samples at precise, documented reef locations. In addition, the JSL will be instrumented for subsurface oil detection (simultaneous fluorescence and droplet size measurement).

The RVSJ and JSL II will support the following activities:

  • 3‐dimensional current profiling down to 1000 m using hull‐mounted ADCP
  • Submerged oil plume location using low‐frequency acoustic backscatter techniques (<30kHz)
  • Surface and over the side data collection for measurement of salinity, temperature, chlorophyll fluorescence, dissolved oxygen, and water clarity. Profiling down to 5000 m is possible
  • Water sampling using CTD Rosette with 12 l Nisken bottles (to 5000 m) and 6 Glo-Flo bottle
  • MOCNESS sampling of zooplankton (to 2000 m), designed to make multiple samples at specific depths.