合作類型：技術 行業類別: 海洋產業 過期時間：2018年05月22日
A UK marine technology research centre has developed a novel drifting ocean sediment trap which drifts with the surrounding water without the necessity for a supporting rope. The trap can be programmed to sink to a particular depth (<1000m), to stay there for a few days and then to rise to the surface after releasing a ballast weight. They are seeking licensing agreements with oceanography researchers or industrial partners interested in exploiting the carbon budget of the upper ocean.
Microscopic plants grow in the upper sunlit zone of the ocean, the start of a complex range of interactions and exchanges which constitute the marine food web. Although most of the action takes place within the top few tens of metres of the surface, some of the material sinks into the deeper water to feed the biological communities in the dark ocean. This process of sinking also removes carbon from the ocean surface and prevents its escape to the atmosphere.
To understand this process of sinking and the factors that affect it, one of the crucial factors to determine is the quantity of material settling down through the different layers of the water column. Traps similar to rain gauges can be placed on vertical ropes to collect material but these give very unreliable estimates of the downward flux largely because the water flows past the traps at a relatively high speed.
A UK research centre has developed a trap which drifts with the surrounding water without the need for a supporting rope and can be programmed to sink to a specific depth (< 1000m). The trap can be programmed to stay there for several days before rising to the surface after releasing a ballast weight. Innovative technology has been developed to achieve the objective: the device has to perform frequent adjustments of its buoyancy in one gram increments immediately after it reaches the proscribed depth and occasionally during the subsequent days. Once it has settled to the required depth, sample cups which may have preservative inside them are opened. At the end of the sampling period the cups close and a ballast weight is released allowing the trap to rise gently to the surface, where it transmits its position by satellite so that it can be recovered safely with the samples intact and the record of its trajectory stored.
Type and Role of Partners Sought:
- Type of partner sought: Industry/Research Centre
- Specific area of activity of the partner: Oceanographic research and carbon/sediment capture from the ocean floor
- Task to be performed by the partner sought: License the traps and employ them in new projects/missions