Technology on deck
- By Dan Verton
- Jul 31, 2000
A sampling of the electronics aboard USNS Bruce C. Heezen:
* ISS-60 software: Collects, stores and processes oceanographic data. Provides
secure network connections and data broadcasts from the ship's central computer
subsystem to its integrated navigation subsystem and other systems and networks.
* Navstar GPS: Satellite-based radio navigation capable of providing
geodetic positions and velocity in three dimensions.
* Weather monitoring system: Provides dedicated temperature, relative
humidity, wind speed and direction, and barometric pressure data to the
mission navigation system.
* Time distribution system: Provides date and time data to all time-critical
systems aboard the ship.
* Dynamic positioning system: Provides automated and manual ship control
for station keeping, trackline following and transmitting from the bridge
or from the ISS-60 software in the main laboratory.
* Multibeam echo sounding system: Sonar system capable of hydrographic
charting in waters up to 11,000 meters deep in real time with pitch, roll,
heave and azimuth correction.
* Deep/shallow water echo sounder system: Provides single-beam data
for depths up to 12,000 meters for checking multibeam information accuracy.
* Sub-bottom profiler: Shallow penetration system capable of determining
the external structure of rocks at depths up to 10,000 meters. Also provides
sediment profiles up to 50 meters.
* Seismic system: Deep penetration sub-bottom profiling system that
generates and receives acoustic impulses from a towed sound projector to
map geological formations.
* Acoustic Doppler: Provides vertical profiles of ocean current speed
and direction at depths up to 380 meters.
* Magnetometer: Uses magnetics for mapping the earth's magnetic field.
* Conductivity, temperature depth system: Provides full ocean profiles
of conductivity and temperature vs. depth for depths up to 7,000 meters.
* Bottom transponder navigation system: Real-time navigation system
for positioning the ship with regard to a fixed acoustic deep-ocean pinger
* Acoustic release system: Provides command and control to activate,
release and locate deep-ocean pingers.