Underwater Node and FerryBox in Ny Âlesund (Spitsbergen)
-- A joint Experiment of AWI and HZG --
A new AWIPEV Underwater Long Term Fjord Observatory has been installed in June 2012 at the AWIPEV Base at Ny Âlesund - Kongsfjord, Spitsbergen- on 79° North. It was planned and built in cooperation between AWI and HZG and is as well a part of COSYNA as of the AWI-Project KOL 07 ('Installation and running of a permanent online underwater monitoring station in near-shore waters of Kongsfjorden at the old pier'; principal AWI investigators: Prof. Dr. Christian Wiencke and Prof. Dr. Philipp Fischer). The realisation was done by the German companies 4H-Jena enigineering GmbH and Loth (Wiesbaden). The planning and the installation on site was greatly supported by the outstanding expertise of the Norwegian company KingsBay.
The 'AWIPEV Underwater Long Term Fjord Observatory' is located at Ny Âlesund/Spitsbergen on the Svalbard Archipel.
In Ny Âlesund the Alfred Wegener Institut for Polar and Marine Research is maintaining 'year-around' together with French partners the Koldewey station. For oceanographic and ecological research a longtern monitoring station has been installed next to the 'Old Pier' using COSYNA technology.
Location of systems
Two types of instruments have been installed near the Old Pier: A container with a stationary FerryBox system inside and an underwater system with a COSYNA Underwater node and in situ instruments.
Principle of measurement infrastructure
All data from the underwater instruments are coordinated by a simplified COSYNA underwater node*).
These data, together with data from the FerryBox on the pier are transferred via the AWI network (firewall) to the COSYNA server at Helgoland.There they are formatted, archived and transmiited to the COSYNA servers at HZG. Quality-assured data are transferred to the PANGEA data base.
*) Simplified means that the task of the Spitsbergen node is to provide only the infrastructure for some dedicated instruments that were pre-defined. Therefore, the extensive supervising mechanisms of the COSYNA underwater node that control data and power supply are not necessary here.
The underwater system is located about 20 m from the end of the Old Pier in 11 m water depth. The system consists of a simplified COSYNA Underwater Node with dedicated instrumentation.
The system is installed on a concrete frame at the sea floor. It contains two pumps for water supply of the FerryBox system, an uplooking ADCP and an 'elevator frame' with different instruments that can be remotely controlled from the AWI.
- CTD multiparameter probe CTD 60 (Sea & Sun) with the following sensors:
- Up-looking ADCP (RDI workhorse),
- Webcam, swivel-mounted in dome,
- Stereo-photogrammetric system to assess length or volume of any object, e.g., fish, in the cameras focus.
The multiparameter probe comprises the following sensors:
- turbidity (Seapoint)
- oxygen (optode, Anderraa),
- chl-a fluorescence (Turner)
Principle of the underwater 'elevator frame'
The underwater 'elevator frame' is a new system that has been developed by AWI: The instrument frame with different instruments can be positioned between bottom and near-surface by remote control from Germany, enabling profile measurements and camera observations if different depths. Several balls acting as lifting bodies provide the necessary buoyancy. The frame glides along two wires that are kept straight by moored buoys.
The FerryBox is located in a container at the Old Pier. It is a standard instrument as used in other COSYNA applications on shore.
Water is pumped by insulated hoses from the Underwater Monitoring Station to the container. In winter they are heated (temperature-controlled) to prevent freezing.
Automated cleaning and prevention of biofouling is carried out with resh water that is provided by insulated underground pipes from the Ny Âlesund community. The pipes are heated in winter to prevent freezing.
The following parameters are measured:
- chl-a fluorescence
All data are transmitted to Germany and are free accessible on the internet
The container is heavily insulated and is heated during winter. It is standing on stilts in order to prevent the buildup of snow banks.
A separated small compartment in front of the observation room prevents snow drifting into the warm observation room when persons are entering in winter. Webcams are installed to enable maintenance personnell to look out for polar bears before leaving the container.
Insulated FerryBox container on stilts