Back to Sea in Bermuda 

Mission Overview

For the first time since the start of the global pandemic, the OTZ team is returning to the field—but this time, it'll be on solid land. Since Covid-19 precautions have led to several cruise cancellations this year, the team is basing its operations at Station B, a new rapid development center for ocean technology that recently opened in Bermuda.

This shore-based work represents a new and innovative approach for twilight zone research in the Covid-19 era. Instead of working from a large vessel like the R/V Neil Armstrong, the OTZ team will take a number of day trips from Bermuda's coast. Just offshore, the ocean floor drops away dramatically, making it possible to reach deep water in a matter of hours. If successful, this arrangement may provide a rapid and flexible way to test oceanographic instruments in the field, letting the team fine-tune their tools to gather data more effectively on traditional cruises.

During day trips aboard the R/V Catapult, the team will extensively test Mesobot and new highly-sensitive radiometers. They'll also deploy the Twilight Zone Explorer (TZEx) an instrument that can record the movement of carbon-rich debris called "marine snow" as it sinks through the twilight zone.

Quick Facts

DatesFebruary 20 - March 20, 2021
Chief ScientistDana Yoerger
Science ObjectivesImprove Mesobot's systems, including tracking and integration with new sensors, to gather more data about the ocean twilight zone on future cruises.
Test Twilight Zone Explorer in open water.
PartnersStation B

Updates From the field

Engineers Dana Yoerger, Evan Kovacs, Jordan Stanway, and Frederick Marin troubleshoot a puzzling issue with in Mesobot’s thrusters. The problem only appeared once the vehicle came into contact with saltwater.

Field Notes: Testing Mesobot in Seawater

March 11, 2021

Dispatches from Bermuda By Tuesday, March 10,  OTZ engineers had Mesobot working properly on land, which meant it was time…

Engineer Jordan Stanway troubleshoots a problem in one of Mesobot's motors.

Field Notes: A Tour of Mesobot’s Guts

March 10, 2021

Dispatches from Bermuda Getting Mesobot ready for a dip in the water is no easy feat.  Designed to follow a…

Field Notes: A Frustrating Wait

March 9, 2021

Dispatches from Bermuda The OTZ engineering team-all of whom spent two weeks in quarantine in Bermuda-has been working tirelessly to…