Bottom Stationed Ocean Profiler (BSOP)
The BSOP is a buoyancy-regulated platform initially designed to collect data from a CTD, with the long-term goal of data collection from a suite of sensors. The device incorporates bi-directional satellite communication capabilities, flexible operational programs, and data storage and transmission in near real-time. The current systems are designed for 200m depth rating and controllable ascent/descent rates, including the ability to hover for extended periods at certain depths. Multiple units with various CTDs have been developed and deployed. Data send back by deployed units is processed and posted on the web by USF's Ocean Circulation Group.
Because BSOP rests on the bottom between profiles and spends a minimal amount of time within the water column, it maintains its general position in the course of its deployment. Typical offshore missions of 50-70 cycles have averaged drifts of less than 1.5 km. Robust software combined with GPS position transmissions, an RF beacon for surface tracking, and an acoustic pinger for underwater location have proven a reliable combination to ensure the unit's retrieval.
To date, BSOP applications primarily focused on time series measurements of conductivity and temperature on the West Florida Shelf, producing data sets applicable to physical oceanographic circulation models over the past several years. Instruments that have been integrated and deployed include:
The project's ultimate objective is to provide a large number of relatively low-cost platforms flexible enough to deploy a variety of sensors for synoptic spatial and temporal mapping of oceanographic and biological parameters.