Before deployment of OOI RSN Primary Node 5A, the spare Science Interface Assembly that had been used in the node for on-deck testing, was transfered back to the spare primary node carried on board the TE SubCom Dependable.
--Photo by Brian Ittig
The OOI RSN program has achieved another major milestone! The Mid-Plate Node, Primary Node 5A, was deployed from the deck of the TE SubCom Dependable at 0405h PDT today and landed on the seafloor three hours later. This is the first primary node to be installed on the northern section of the OOI cabled infrastructure, which runs some 480 km from Pacific City, Oregon, out to Axial Seamount on the Juan de Fuca Ridge.
Here's how the deployment proceeded: At 0100h PDT on Saturday, August 11, 2012, we commenced final preparations for the deployment of PN5A. The spare Science Interface Assembly, which had been temporarily installed into the PN5A frame for testing, was transfered to the spare primary node that is carried onboard. PN5A was deployed with minimal internal electronics because of its role as a "placeholder" node that allows for potential future expansion.
At 0400h, PN5A was lifted from the aft deck of the TE SubCom Dependable and entered the water at 0405h. The node landed on the seafloor three hours later at a depth of 2800 meters. The node was successfully tested from the shore station and tilt parameters were verified to confirm that the node is lying flat on the seafloor.
As of 1830h PDT, we are transiting to the Primary Node 3A site, which is located on Axial Seamount approximately 100 nm (185 km) to the west of the just-installed Mid-Plate Node. Our ETA is 2200h PDT.
-- Brian Ittig, OOI RSN Marine Operations Manager, University of Washington, onboard the TE SubCom Dependable