Oceanographic equipment manufacturer Ocean Scientific International Ltd (OSIL) have equipped the NASA EXPORTS Field Campaign with three Marine Snow Catchers and will contribute to the upcoming PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem) Mission that aims to provide insight into Earth’s ocean and atmosphere using remote sensing.
A graphic of the PACE Observatory, with solar panels deployed. Credit: NASA/GSFC
Marine Snow Catchers are large volume water samplers with separable top and bottom sections that allow researchers to collect and characterize suspended and sinking particles in the water column. This provides a greater understanding of the export processes of the oceanic organic carbon cycle (removing carbon from the upper ocean) and can help to predict how these processes may change in the future.
The design of the OSIL Marine Snow Catchers has been subtly altered, guided by user feedback, with the intention of making them easier to operate in extreme conditions.