New marine science sensors coming online

24 April 2023 – Following a successful sea operation, the 16-19 April 2023, a collection of new marine science instrumentation is now connected to the Laboratoire Sous-marin Provence Mediterranee (LSPM)) sea floor infrastructure at the KM3NeT/ORCA site, near Toulon, France.

During the three day sea operation the so-called ‘pre-SJB’, developed by CPPM Marseille, was connected into the seafloor network. The pre-SJB is a passive junction box housing an AC power transformer and a sea return electrode. During the same operation a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) connected an interlink cable between the pre-SJB and the previously deployed SJB.

The SJB (Scientific Junction Box), developed by Ifremer, is a junction box with six output dedicated to marine science instrumentation. The Pre-SJB/SJB are located about 3.7 km west of the main KM3NeT/ORCA detector. The SJB with its associated instrumentation had already been deployed about a year ago and was waiting for the pre-SJB installation to come online. An earlier incarnation of the SJB was previously installed on the ANTARES junction box.

The instrumentation currently connected to the SJB includes the BathyBot seafloor crawler, its docking station BathyDock (MIO/DT-INSU-Marseille) and BathyReef (an artificial reef), a broad-band seismograph (GeoAzur-Nice), a germanium gamma spectrometer (CPPM-Marseille,) and a stereo biocamera (IP2I-Lyon).

Two ships were involved in the sea operation: the Raymond Croze of Orange Marine and the Janus II of SAAS.

The ROV being deployed from Janus II.
The ROV being deployed from Janus II.
The Raymond Croze.
The Raymond Croze of Orange Marine.
Deployment of the Pre-SJB.
Deployment of the Pre-SJB from the Raymond Croze.
Layout of the LSPM instrumentation connected to the SJB.
Layout of the LSPM instrumentation connected to the SJB.