On many projects it is necessary to deploy XBTs on a 24 hour schedule as the ship steams along its course. Since a trained operator is needed to operate the system, it was necessary to send two people so that operations could be conducted around the clock. To reduce the workload, AOML has designed and is now testing an automated XBT launcher that will allow this work to be conducted by only one person. Eventually, it is hoped, the ship's crew will be able to operate the system and no operators will have to accompany the system.
A photograph of the XBT Autolauncher is shown in
Figure 2. Up to six
probes can be preloaded and then deployed at predetermined launch
times or positions. All operational functions and data recording are
controlled by a personal computer. Presently the system is being used
on a Mexican registered container ship that steams between ports in
the Mediterranean Sea and Veracruz, Mexico.