NPEO Mooring Deployment and Recovery
The third NPEO mooring is currently anchored to the ocean floor in 4120 meters (2.6) miles) of water and reaches up to within 50 meters of the underside of the ice. The scientific instruments shackled to the mooring line must be recovered to acquire their internally-recorded data. A major purpose of the logistical effort each spring of the program is the recovery of the previous year's mooring, and installation, or "deployment", of the next.
working from the temporary
Russian ice station "Borneo", the
University of Washington mooring team flies out with a helicopter
of the previous year's deployment. After landing, two
8- x 12-foot tents, mounted on sleds, are installed at the mooring
site for five days as living and work space for the two scientists
and three divers responsible for the mooring work.
auger a hole through the ice and lower the hydrophone from
acoustic command gear. This enables them to communicate with the
transponders at the top of the mooring. Using transponders at
top of a mooring allows them to get more accurate range and bearing
than using the releases that are located down at 2500 meters depth.
drawing by Jim Johnson