Sampling Ocean Environments
Sampling is essential to better understanding the natural world. The size and depth of the ocean make it challenging to study. Ocean explorers utilize a wide variety of sampling tools and methods to collect as much data as possible to better understand the ocean environment. Underwater robots, such as Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), are great tools for studying the ocean. They allow scientists to see and sample environments that are too far or too dangerous to explore in-person. The manipulator arms on ROVs and submersibles can pick up biological specimens and geological samples to bring back to scientists above the water and operate additional sampling tools, like push cores or suction samplers. CTDs, which stands for Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth are series of probes that collect water parameter data. They are often mounted to a larger metal water sampling array that has several water sampling bottles which can be triggered to collect water samples at specific depths for later analysis.