Scientific Equipment

The Miller Freeman supports a large suite of sensors for meteorological and oceanographic data acquisition. This sensor suite is supported by 2 high-powered Dell PowerEdge computers. A well developed ethernet computer network integrates nearly all of the shipboard computers, including several NT4.0 Gateway Servers and Workstations along with other specialized computer platforms. The up-to-date shipboard computers and software are used for everything from sensor acquisition and data analysis to administration and payroll. Intranet services support many network applications. The two basic categories of shipboard computers are scientific and administrative.

Nearly all of the ship's sensors are integrated into the Scientific Computing System (SCS), which allows for centralized data acquisition and logging from numerous sensors with different sampling rates. One central data set of all sensors is logged continuously, and user-specified subsets of sensor data and independent sampling rates may also be logged simultaneoulsly. All data are time stamped from the ship's high-precision UTC clock and GPS navigation parameters can be easily included within any data set. SCS data can be accessed with feature-rich software from workstations throughout the ship-wide network. Details for individual shipboard sensors and systems are provided below. Temporary installation of additional mission-specific sensors and systems within SCS is also possible.

The calibration policy for the following scientific equipment can be found on the Equipment Calibration Policy page. More information about specific ship equipment can be found on the Communications Equipment and Navigation Equipment pages.

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Echo sounder - Deep water
Raytheon Deep Water Echo Sounder (12 kHz) with UGR recorder and JRC color scopp. The 12 KHz deep/shallow bottom profiler provides single beam depth data to 10,000 m for bottom profiling or for tracking acoustic pingers in the water column.
Echo sounder - Shallow water
Simrad EQ-50 Fish Finding Echo Sounder (38 kHz and 50 kHz)
Echo sounder - Scientific
Simrad EK-500 Scientific Sounder (18 kHz, 38 kHz and 120 kHz)


The central components of the Miller Freeman's computer system are two (primary and backup) Dell PowerEdge NT Servers, one 4200 PII-300 and one 4300 PII-300. The systems are identical in set-up and configuration so that in the event of a failure of the primary system, the backup system can resume scientific data acquisition with minimal data loss. The system operates in a Microsoft NT windows environment.

The primary node is used for data acquistion from several real time and derived scientific sensors. Each Dell NT server has 4 internal 9 GByte drives operating in RAID 5, a CD-ROM drive, a CD-RW drive, and a 30 gb tape drive. The primary function of this system is to run the Scientific Computer System (SCS) software.

In addition to the Dell servers, Gateway NT workstations are located in the Chem Lab (1), Dataplot (2), and on the Bridge (1). If needed, the Gateway NT workstations can be relocated to better meet scientific requirements. The Dell servers are connected to all other nodes using a 100BaseT network throughout the vessel. The nodes include the two Dell PowerEdge computers, Gateway NT workstations, network Postscript (Laser and Deskjet) printers, and numerous Windows NT 4.0 workstation and Windows 95/98 personal computers. This networking makes data transfer throughout the vessel simple and efficient. TCP/IP and Microsoft NetBEUI are the preferred protocols for the PC's.

The primary function of the computer systems is to fulfill the data requirements as outlined in the project instructions; however, limited access is available to personnel for projects not directly related to the mission.

A variety of storage media are available on the public PC's including Iomega Zip's and DAT tapes.

Twenty seven workstations with capability of up to seventy. Windows NT 4.0 Server and Workstation. Most of the PC's have dedicated functions for shipboard personnel, but several are available for scientific parties on a shared basis. In addition, if sufficient demand exists, important PC's brought aboard by the scientific party can be added to the network.

The PC network utilizes shared resources such as postscript printers, virtual disk drives, tape drives, and CD-RW drives. The network is used extensively for the sharing of message traffic and data (IS).

Developed Software
Scientific Computer System (SCS) software
Commercial Software Packages
ArcView G.I.S.
Microsoft Office 97
Microsoft Visual Studio Professional 6.0
System Utilities
Microsoft Visual Studio Professional 6.0
Microsoft Ethernet
Data Acquisition System
The Scientific Computer System (SCS) software was developed at NOAA Headquarters specifically for the NOAA fleet. SCS is a data acquisition and processing system designed for oceanographic and fisheries applications. The C++ based software package is run through point and click menu bars. The SCS package utilizes Graphical User Interface (GUI) technology in the form of NT-Window time series graphs and directly calls ArcView graphing capabilities.
SCS is networked throughout the ship and is capable of sending data displays to remote stations (SCS NT Client) nearly anywhere on the ship. In addition, ASCII data strings can be sent via RS-232 cable or over the ethernet. Data from just about every sensor (list of sensors currently logged to SCS) can be sent to any available port/node on the network. The SCS workstations can provide time series graphs of all acquired data to monitor any changes. Several variables can be plotted against each other in real time X-Y plots. Data can be output in a wide variety of formats. Data output formats include:


Installed, calibrated digital barometer outputting in millibars, which is connected SCS and is available for scientific use.


Speed Log
Ametek MRQ-4015D Doppler Speed Log
Winch system
Measurement Technology winch instrumentation displays for both the traction and hydrographic winch systems. These displays will display wire out in meters, feed rate in meters per minute and wire tension in pounds. These readings are also output to SCS for archival and are available for scientific use.


Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP)
The RD Instruments (RDI), Model VM-150-18HP, 153.6 KHz narrow band acoustic doppler current profiler provides vertical profiles of ocean current, speed and directon at depths up to 380 m. The RDI software, version 2.48 running on an associated 386 computer displays the real time data. Data is recorded on an external 100 Mb zip drive and available for scientific use.
Two Guildline model 8400B auto salinometers for precision salinity calculation in a temperature controlled airlock style entry room. The room also is equipped with a deep sink.
Seabird Electronics (SBE) Model 911 Plus CTD system in a 12-position rosette frame with a General Oceanics submersible array firing assembly. The SBE 911 Plus underwater assembly has a depth capacity of 6800 meters and a dual conductivity/temperature sensor pair. The SBE 911 Plus deck unit is connected to a VHS VCR for raw data recording and a networked computer with the capability of printing color plots. The computer is running SBE data collection software. The Miller Freeman has a spare SBE 911 Plus underwater unit with a single conductivity/temperature pair. The CTD system is capable of interfacing through either of the two ship's hydrographic winches. There are two 12 KHz pingers available for use with this system. Also available is a SBE 19 Seacat Profiler.
Thermosalinograph (TSG)
Seabird Electronics SBE-21 thermosalinograph plumbed in at the bow is capable of measuring the conductivity and temperature of the water from either 2 meters below the ship's waterline or from 5.6 meters below the water line. This data is recorded on SCS and is available for scientific use.
Expendable Bathythermograph (XBT)
Sippican MK-12 XBT system with a portable launcher that is available for scientific use. The user must supply XBT probes.

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Updated: August 28, 2008