Time to Get to Work

After a day and half of steaming, it was time to deploy the equipment.  First to be deployed was the 8km long hydrophone streamer, which will record the sound as it reflects off the seafloor and layers deep within the Earth.  The streamer deployment alone took over 6 hours!

P.I. Donna Shillington looks very official here as we start the streamer deployment.

In addition to a tail buoy with a GPS, we attached "birds" to the cable at regular intervals.  These devices are remotely controlled to help keep the streamer at the appropriate depth in the water column.

There were quite a few "birds" to put on the cable.

Here are some shots of the air gun and buoy array while it was still in the hanger. The term "air gun" is sort of misleading.  The air gun is an acoustic source that makes a sound by generating a large air bubble underwater.  When the air bubble collapses, it creates a pressure wave, or sound wave, that travels through the earth and is reflected back to the hydrophone streamer.

The air gun array is a pretty massive contraption, so it's hard to capture all in one photo.

Here you can see some of the yellow buoys with air gun solenoids hanging below.

The air guns will be deployed out of this chute off the aft of the ship. 

The first air gun string went out at sunset.