New ARM Mobile Facility Tests Its Sea Legs
The second ARM (Atmospheric Radiation Measurement) Mobile Facility, or AMF2, is designed for deployment flexibility—particularly for obtaining atmospheric data over the ocean. Ocean deployment requires that some instruments be mounted on a stable platform which moves in opposition to the ship’s movement to maintain a level instrument platform. Control software uses information from an inertial measurement unit to keep the platform level and in the correct orientation. In mid-June, the AMF2 faced its first test on the open seas off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The Argonne National Laboratory AMF2 team installed a subset of instruments on the RV Connecticut to test their operation in a marine environment and to experience the potential problems likely to be encountered during a long-term shipboard deployment. One primary objective of the testing was to evaluate the control software for the new AMF2 stable platform, as well as to evaluate the operation of various instruments in stabilized and non-stabilized modes. Logistics and planning support for the test was provided by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. The test was deemed successful and findings will be incorporated into the final build.