At the Sombrero station, which has not relayed oceanographic data for three years, the SEAKEYS staff installed a new main cable and a Hydrolab H-20. They also assisted the NDBC technician in replacing the meteorological sensors and installed new batteries. Oceanographic data is now available for this station. Initial difficulties with the posting on the CHAMP electronic bulletin board were rectified quickly and meteorological and oceanographic data is now available to users from all six stations.
During fall maintenance of the stations we found that the FSI CT units and the Seabird CT units were much less of a problem than the Hydrolab H-20 with regard to biofouling and sensor drift.
Unfortunately, the Dry Tortugas station has begun showing intermittent data recording from the 3m instrument array, apparently due to cable failure between the instrument and the transmission equipment. New cables with SEACON (WETCON) connectors have been prepared in cooperation with AOML staff to replace these, just as soon as logistics can be worked out with the National Park Service staff at Fort Jefferson.
The planned structure is a five-pilings type with an approximately 6' X 7' platform on top with enclosures for the electronics and data logging/transmission equipment and the meteorological sensors. The in-water sensors will be mounted on one of the pilings. The platform construction, based on drawings supplied by the NDBC, is very similar to the platform on the Long Key station. The St. Petersburg USCG Aids-to-Navigation group will do the installation. They will install it as soon as possible but they require a window of low winds of approximately a week, which realistically may mean a March/April installation.