FRV Alba Na Mara 0914A

Cruise plan

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)FRV Alba Na Mara (74NM)
Cruise identifier0914A
Cruise period2014-05-30 — 2014-06-02
Port of departureFraserburgh, United Kingdom
Port of returnFraserburgh, United Kingdom

1. To test and compare a variety of TV & HD cameras and associated lights.
2. To test methods of reducing vibration in the over-side transducer pole.
3. To test the deployment, recovery and efficiency of short-base-line acoustic positioning systems and a PUP ("pop-up") recovery marker.
4. To calibrate plankton-sampler flow-meters.
5. Staff training in the deployment, operation and recovery of a VideoRay ROV, including comparison of micro-USBL systems.
6. To assess a commercial 3-D laser imaging system (Savante Ltd).


Scientific equipment will be transported to Fraserburgh on 28 May. The TV cable will be loaded onto the winch and lab equipment installed. If necessary, set-up will be completed when staff join Alba na Mara during the morning of 30 May, after which ROV trials will start in the Moray Firth in areas of sandy sea-bed and 30 m depth. Alba na Mara will return to Fraserburgh at the end of each day during the survey to exchange staff and to review data.

A new PUP ("pop-up") recovery marker will be attached to the drop-frame to assess its suitability as an aid to recovering lost equipment. A separate recovery line will be attached to the frame in the event that the PUP fails. Assuming success, the PUP will be delivered to SCOTIA in time for 0714S. Other instrumentation will be tested on the drop-frame as conditions permit, including various laser projectors to calibrate and verify the beam orientation, and HD cameras.

Trials of the OCEAN plankton sampler will proceed as weather permits, with the sampler being towed from the centre trawl warp. A self-recording load-cell will be attached to the sampler to determine maximum towing loads, to enable selection of an alternate tow-wire for 1314A.

The port-side transducer-pole will be fitted with a variety of vortex shedders in an attempt to reduce vibration while towing. A self-recording accelerometer will be attached to the base of the pole to monitor the levels of vibration. The Trackpoint USBL will be tested to confirm reliable operation of a range of beacons. Staff training in the deployment and use of the Video Ray ROV will be undertaken while the vessel is at anchor. On 1 June, two engineers from Savante Ltd will test a commercial 3-D laser imaging system to assess its suitability for benthic impact studies. After the trials, Alba na Mara will un-load equipment in Fraserburgh on 2 June.
Chief scientistChris D Hall (Marine Scotland Aberdeen Marine Laboratory)
Cruise programmeFRV Alba Na Mara 0914A cruise programme 0914a.pdf  (0.02 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralNorth Sea
SpecificMoray Firth