Earth Institute Research Projects

Collaborative Research: Optimization of the Multibeam Sonar Systems of the U.S. Academic Fleet through Coordinated System Testing, Tool Development, and Community Outreach

Lead PI: Vicki Ferrini

Unit Affiliation: Marine Geology & Geophysics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

July 2019 - June 2024
North America ; United States
Project Type: Research Outreach

DESCRIPTION: The Multibeam Advisory Committee (MAC) was established in 2011 to coordinate fleet-wide sonar calibration, perform consistent and routine assessment of system performance, and to provide tools and protocols for consistent data acquisition practices. This proposal requests funds to continue these activities, focusing on the development and maintenance of technical resources, information, tools regarding the operation and monitoring of multibeam sonars across the U.S. Academic Research Fleet (ARF). The MAC will continue to facilitate communication and knowledge-sharing among the community of stakeholders to provide guidance on a broad array of multibeam issues to improve how these data are collected and assessed.

This collaborative proposal is for a 5-year continuing grant. Yearly increments will be negotiated with the Program based on the annual report.

Broader Impacts:

The principal impact of the present proposal is under Merit Review Criterion 2 of the Proposal Guidelines (NSF 13-589). It provides infrastructure support for scientists to use the vessel and its shared-use instrumentation in support of their NSF-funded oceanographic research projects (which individually undergo separate review by the relevant research program of NSF). The acquisition, maintenance and operation of shared-use instrumentation allows NSF-funded researchers from any US university or lab access to working, calibrated instruments for their research, reducing the cost of that research, and expanding the base of potential researchers.