NuShuttle - Towed, undulating, data gathering platform for oceanographic monitoring
NuShuttle is a proven, low cost and robust towed undulating vehicle in use on ships of opportunity and research vessels. It is capable of carrying a suite of instrumentation for the measurement of parameters such as depth, temperature, salinity, chlorophyll fluorescence, Gelbstoff fluorescence, hydrocarbon fluorescence, turbidity, transmittance, bioluminescence, pH, redox and dissolved oxygen. NuShuttle also has the capacity to carry a Plankton Sampler or Optical Plankton Counter and the new FastOcean Fast Repetition Rate fluorometer system.
NuShuttle can be towed at speeds of 5 to 15 knots to operational depths of >150m. It can be launched and recovered while the vessel is underway, by a non-scientific crew with minimal training.
- Applications and Features
- Oceanographic data gathering from ships of opportunity
- Ecosystem health monitoring
- Real-time two dimensional data gathering in support of oceanographic modelling
- Pollution monitoring and dye tracing studies
- Sea truthing for satellite remote sensing
- Continuous plankton monitoring and sampling
- Estuary, coastal zone and open ocean surveys
- Local area site assessment
- Channel clearance
- Proven open ocean capability & reliability
- Clean lines, all sensor inboard
- An extremely rugged stainless steel/polyethylene construction
- Highly stable, light weight & robust
- Generates its own power for vehicle control
- Large payload capability
- Pre-programmable or real time control
- Fast data acquisition (logged or real-time)
- Wide tow speed range (5-15 knots)
- Undulation depth range from 0 to 150m
- Low cost
The NνShuttle is a stable, very robust, versatile undulating towed vehicle for the deployment of a wide range of oceanographic monitoring equipment. Developed by Chelsea Technologies Group & the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK, NνShuttle has been designed to meet the requirements for a low cost, large payload vehicle which retains the hydrodynamic performance of its sister vehicle, AQUAshuttle. NνShuttle has a large, uncluttered cargo bay of some 100 litres capacity and can fly with an expansive suite of instruments for the measurement of parameters such as conductivity, temperature, depth, chlorophyll, hydrocarbon and Gelbstoff fluorescence, turbidity, optical transmittance, bioluminescence, nutrient, redox and dissolved oxygen. It also has capacity to carry a mechanical Plankton Sampler or an Optical Plankton Counter. NνShuttle has been designed to accommodate the new generation of oceanographic sensors such as the Fast Repetition Rate fluorometer FASTocean which gives oceanographers a unique insight into phytoplankton health.
NνShuttle can be towed from research vessels and ships of opportunity at speeds of 5 to 15 knots, to operational depths of >150m. It can be launched and recovered while the vessel is underway, by a non-scientific crew with minimal training. NνShuttle is self-contained, with an independent power source and an integral servo control system driving the elevator. The required undulation path is adjustable and the depth and pitch parameters are stored in solid-state onboard memory. These parameters are set over the RS422 communications interface and can be downloaded either prior to launch or during deployment in real-time. The stand-alone capability, ease of handling, high data rate and versatility of sensor & sampling packages make this a cost effective and productive platform for large scale data collection.
The standard NνShuttle package comprises the underwater vehicle, alternator and servo control system.
Typical Instrumentation playload can include combinations of: CTD-F, fluorometers, Transmissometer, Nephelometer, Bioluminescence, Irradiance meter, Optical Plankton Recorder, Plankton Sampler, Nitrate/Nitrate sensor, and SeaWifs bands sensors.
NvShuttle Body Length (body): 1.31m Height: 0.58m Width: (ex. sponsons) 0.50m Weight (including Servo Control, exc. instrumentation) 72kg In Air
45kg In Water
Operating Profile Control: Self-contained processor control of elevator servo from pre-programmed profile or real-time communications Depth Range: 0 to 80m unfaired (0 to >150m faired) typically Towing Speed: 5 to 15 knots Drive / Climb Speed: up to 2 m/s Engineering Details Flight Programme: Input from computer via RS422 link Elevator servo: Digital control with Impeller driven alternator powering digital servo above 5 knots depth sensor. Power: Impeller driven alternator powering digital servo above 5 knots. Material: Welded stainless steel frame onto which Polyethylene panels are fixed, Stainless steel frame & towing yoke Support Systems Winch: Dedicated winch with slip ring assembly only required when used in real time mode with power/data communication to surface deck unit. When towing on a bare cable, a standard ships capstan may be used. Cable: Rochester 7-H-314A or equivalent for real-time deployments Fairing: Indal Flexnose(R) fairing is used for increased depth and undulation range performance
- Deck Units
Video shows the Plankton Sampler being deployed from a NvShuttle towed oceanographic vehicle while on trial in China