Cowen's CORK (Circulation Obviation Retrofit Kit) experiment package is in
the final stage of testing and assembly. The package, which consists of a
PPS (phytoplankton sampler) and an iSEA
electrochemical analyzer, is to be deployed on a site located on the Juan de Fuca ocean ridge. The package will measure microscopic life in a 990 foot
bore hole as well as the chemical composition of the surrounding habitat.
These devices are designed to operate independent of each other. However,
ESF engineers were able to come up with an interface that will allow the PI,
Jim Cowen and Post Doctorate Fellow, Brian Glazer to retrieve data from both
devices without bringing the experiment back on the ship and connecting to
the devices separately. The interface consists of an inductive coupler,
optical interface, and Rabbit 3000® microcontroller.
One part of
the inductive coupler is connected to the Rabbit 3000® Interface
and Control Module via a separate CODEC (encoder/decoder) pressure case,
while the other end is attached to a mini-sub. Control signals from a
notebook computer are encoded using a Manchester CODEC and passed onto the
inductive coupler. The signal is decoded at the other end and is supplied to
the Interface and Control Module. This module then routes the proper
programming information to either the PPS,
or iSEA. Data from either device can be retrieved in reverse order. Also
attached to the CODEC pressure case is a laser optical transceiver. This
interface will be used as a backup to the inductive coupler.
Dave Copson (left) and
Brian Glazer (right) discussing final design of manifold.
Mike Cole (left), Jim
Cowen (center), and Dave Copson (right) discussing last minute changes to