Processing Samples at Sea
With the assistance of several technologies, especially underwater robots, explorers can collect numerous samples during each dive. When the Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) or other underwater robots are back on board the ship, the expedition team quickly jumps into action to unload, sort, and transport the samples into the labs. Once in the lab, scientists are able to further process the samples. Samples are inspected for associated organisms, photographed, labeled, and inventoried into a database containing all relevant metadata. Many samples are then preserved and stored appropriately to be transported back to labs around the world for more in-depth analyses to be performed.