Drs Tim Lynch and Lindsay Pender, ably assisted by the deck crew of the Southern Surveyor, successfully deployed moored infrastructure for the National Reference Station (NRS) on the 10th April 2008. Operating at night, the sub surface component of the Maria Island NRS was placed onto the sea floor at 42 35 .80S 14.00E, which is the same location where data has been collected from small boats since 1944.
Built by Danny McLauglan and David Cherry from the Ocean Sensor Deployment Group (OSDG) at CMAR, the NRS mooring carried a sensor payload of two Wetlabs WQMs, one located near the bottom at 90 metres and another in the euphotic zone at 20 metres. David Hughes, also from OSDG, programmed the initial deployment of this new combination sensor (conductivity, temperature, pressure, salinity, oxygen, chlorophyll and turbidity) to test two different rates of battery use.
The mooring is set to be recovered for data downloading and analysis after two months. This will provide valuable information on the rate of bio-fouling of the equipment, the integrity of the data stream and the actual, as opposed to modelled, use of battery power. The next stage of the project is to deploy a surface float to commence development of a telemetry stream from the WQMs. Team members from the OSDG are currently finalising designs for a water proof telemetry canister which will become the generic module for both future NRS deployments and other programs.