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Marine Scotland Science (MSS) Plankton Sampling Systems

Four robust, self-contained sampling systems, have been developed and built by Marine Scotland Science (MSS) to collect plankton and water samples on a wide range of vessels:

  • Dual Methot Trawl
  • Multi-post Sediment Trap

Common features of the samplers include:

  • Battery-powered, with programmed control for flexible sampling operations
  • Time, depth and sample data are stored in battery-backed Random Access Memory (RAM)
  • Proprietary software is used to download data from the samplers for merging with the ship's log. The software produces labels for the individual sample containers

ARIES Sampler:

Automated Recording Instrumented Environmental Sampler

  • Collects up to 110 depth stratified or timed meso-plankton samples through 37 cm, mouth diameter, 200 micron mesh forward net into sampling cassette, coincident with up to 60 discrete water samples. Operational depth 3,200 metres
  • ARIES can support large additional payloads, including: Optical Particle Counter; Seabird CTD system with fluorescence and transmissometer; Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler or multi-frequency echo-sounder EK500 (Behemoth)

Dual Methot Trawl

This is a fully programmable operation opens and closes two nets at pre-programmed depths to collect samples of the large macro-plankton such as euphausiids or young fish.

  • Each of the two nets has a 2 m2 opening and is constructed from knotless 1.5 mm meshes
  • Maximum operational depth 1,000 metres
Dual Methot trawl

Multi-post Sediment Trap

The trap is a self-contained device for unattended mooring to collect up to 17 discrete sediment samples in 500 ml sealed containers. Features include:

  • Vertical collection tube lined with Teflon ensures maximum sampling efficiency
  • Variable collection period (12 to 48 hours
  • Rated to 200 metres
  • All plastic construction for reduced contamination.
Multi port sediment trap

OCEAN Sampler - Opening and Closing Environmental Net Sampler

  • Collects microzooplankton and phytoplankton samples through 10 cm opening into one of seven fine mesh nets (typically 95 micron mesh). The on-board depth-stratified controller also collects seven discrete water samples and can operate to 1,200 metres
  • OCEAN is capable of carrying many of the same additional payloads as ARIES including Optical Particle Counter (OPC) and Seabird CTD system
Ocean Sampler