Too small to be seen is no longer synonymous with too small to be studied. The scientists and engineers of Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have partnered with researchers from the University of Hawaii to develop a new sampling system for long-range autonomous underwater vehicles (LAUVs). The reason? The hope is that this Environmental Sample Processor will help the team better understand microbial processes in the ocean and possibly lead to the development of preventative measures.
For those of you wondering, microorganisms are essential for earth function and play many different roles on both land as well as water. Along with serving as a critical importance to life sustainability on earth, studying the diversity patterns of these microorganisms can be used to predict environmental change.
This new sampling system that both MBARI and the University of Hawaii have been working on will collect as well as preserve ocean water samples, essentially capturing the initial state of the organisms’ proteins and genetic material. The first of the three LAUVs arrived in Hawaii and has been deployed off the coast earlier this month. When each of the three vehicles are equipped with the new system, they will work together to address the challenge of sampling different locations as well as depths.
Here at Hawaii Ocean Project, we are extremely passionate about the ocean. With our unique ocean excursions, we aim to educate both visitors and our island community about Hawaii’s marine life along with the ecosystem that people have been trying to preserve. The launch of this new LAUV and the advancement of research as well as technology, shines some light on the future of our big deep blue.
In a continued effort to support legitimate marine research, gift shop proceeds will be donated to our Research Direct program that supports researchers here in Hawaii. Looking to experience the beauty of Hawaii above and below the surface? Reserve an ocean tour today; we are sure it will make a lasting impression!