We’ve been telling you about CTDs for a while now – it stands for conductivity, temperature and depth.

The CTD  instrument has long been a fundamental research tool for marine scientists.

Besides its basic function to measure temperature and salinity in the ocean, it allows scientists to fit a wide variety of other instruments to measure other properties, including oxygen and other dissolved gases, phytoplankton and the quantity of biological matter, suspended particles, and the depth that sunlight penetrates the ocean.

On the Ken Ridgway (CSIRO) voyage into the East Australian Current onboard Southern Surveyor, we captured some incredible GoPro video of the CTD in operation.

RV Investigator will have it’s own CTD systems, which includes not only a 24 bottle rosette like the one on Southern Surveyor, but an huge 36-bottle CTD frame and the corresponding electronics and sensors. Each bottle will be able to collect 12 litres of seawater, at depths of up to about 7,000 metres, where the pressure is over 0.7 tonne per square cm.

The frame and some of the parts for the 36 bottle rosette have arrived at the CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Laboratories in Hobart and there were four very happy team members – Dr Lindsay Pender, Ben Rae, Matt Sherlock and Andreas Marouchos – ready to unpack and check the goods.

I had to be very quick to get a photo!

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