Recently, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) released a video from the July 2011 deployment of the Deep Environmental Sample Processor (Deep-ESP). The video was taken while the Deep-ESP was deployed at the ASHES hydrothermal field. The ESP version used in this deployment was designed to withstand the environmental challenges of a deep-ocean deployment (e.g., extreme temperatures and increased pressure). Prior to the development of the Deep-ESP, researchers relied on simple machines to retrieve samples from great depths. These samples were then transported back to a laboratory for analysis with results unknown for many weeks. With the Deep-ESP, the real-time, onsite analytic capabilites of the ESP are available in extreme ocean environments.
As highlighted in the video, the Deep-ESP is comprised of the following:
- A pressurized, temperature-controlled housing;
- The core ESP and qPCR technologies for molecular sample analysis;
- An exchangable external battery pack to extend the duration of a deployment;
- A remote sampling wand capable of withstanding extreme temperatures experienced near and in hydrothermal vents (up to >300° C/570° F); and
- A module that collects and depressurizes sea water before delivering it to the ESP.
Enjoy this audio-free video. (If the video is not visible, please refresh your browser window.)
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