Methodology and Instrumentation Needs and Development

The new methods and technologies that now exist, or that are under development and being tested, will allow one to look at the physical and biological processes occurring on Georges Bank in ways not previously possible. These new developments will allow more complete spatial surveys, more detailed processes studies and longer time-series observations of the combined physical and biological parameters over Georges Bank. It is with this additional information, supplied by the combined observational data set and modeling efforts, that the complex questions outlined above can be addressed. This will aid our understanding of how physical processes influence the biological processes which control the distribution, abundance, production and population dynamics of planktonic organisms on Georges Bank.

Well established technologies such as CTDs, current meters, towed nets, and drifters should be used along with the new methods to extend our observational capabilities. Acoustical and optical instruments could be moored, towed and profiled along with established technologies to give a unique combination of biological and physical information. These new techniques are in a trial and growth period that requires additional field and laboratory testing and calibration. This development and testing program should be carried out within the context of an ongoing scientific program that can supply complementary and redundant information to evaluate and understand the performance of new instrumentation. This redundancy and overlapping data should strengthen the program considerably, as well as advance the evaluation of new technology. To be considered for funding, new instruments and methods should be in a fairly mature state of development that will allow field deployment in the early stages of the experiment. Some of the appropriate technologies and considerations are outlined and discussed below.