AST Program Fact Sheet
The Advanced Survey Technologies Program (AST) is part of the Fisheries Resources Division (FRD) at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC). AST supports ecosystem-based fisheries management through new or innovative uses of sampling technologies. AST's strategy is to first characterize measurement and sampling uncertainties, and define gaps in existing data; and then develop, refine, and employ advanced survey technologies to improve the accuracy, precision and efficiency of fisheries surveys and thus resulting stock assessments. To maintain an emphasis on the scientific objectives, opposed to the instrument or instrument platform being developed, AST also conducts fisheries research and surveys using the instrumentation and methods it develops. Examples of advanced survey technologies include: instrumented buoys, instrumented small craft, and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV).
Ocean Development Technology Tank
A world class Ocean Development Technology Tank is planned for the SWFSC new La Jolla Consolidation Project. The tank is of sufficient size (10m by 10m by 20m) to calibrate and test a wide variety of instruments with minimal boundary effects. Water conditions can be controlled over a broad range of temperatures and salinities and the tank would be able to accommodate living marine animals. Examples of experiments that could be performed in the tank include: calibration and performance testing of transducer and hydrophone arrays; testing of underwater cameras, strobe and laser systems; testing of gliders, autonomous underwater vehicles, floats, drifters, tags and opening-closing nets; and characterization of the behavior of marine animals and their response to remote sensors.
Advanced technologies, such as active- and passive-acoustic and optical sensors, and sensor platforms such as remotely operated and autonomous underwater vehicles, are important capabilities for NOAA to achieve its mission in a timely and cost-effective manner. The Ocean Development Technology Tank facility fills an important gap in developing and testing these technologies so they can be deployed to improve the quality and efficiency of NOAA’s research and monitoring operations. It will also provide unique and much needed resources to foster collaborations with researchers from other government agencies including the Navy, academic institutions, industrial researchers and product developers. In addition, as the only large sea- and fresh-water test tank facility with thermohaline control, it will be a unique and invaluable resource for researchers worldwide.
AST Group Leader:David Demer, Ph.D.