Acquisition of a pressure housing and array of reaction chambers (pucks) for the Environmental Sampling Processor (ESP)

The ESP is an electromechanical/fluidic system that collects discrete water samples from the ocean subsurface, concentrates microorganisms (particulates), and automates application of ribosomal RNA (rRNA)-targeted DNA probe arrays that detect harmful algal bloom (HAB) species in near real-time. The ESP also archives samples for nucleic acid analyses, microscopy, and other procedures after the instrument is recovered from deployment. The ESP employs “pucks” for sample collection and processing protocols. Pucks are custom-designed reaction chambers that support a wide variety of filters or chemically adsorptive media depending on protocol requirements. Pucks are stored in a rotating carousel and are manipulated to processing station positions by elevator and shuttle mechanisms. The same mechanisms also move pucks to an imaging station where a CCD camera records results of DNA probe arrays.

WHOI will acquire a pressure housing for a core Environmental Sample Processor. The housing will be compatible with the EPA/ AED ESP and will be co-deployed in support of HAB monitoring and research in the NERACOOS. WHOI will also acquire 120 reaction pucks that are needed to operate the ESP for extended deployments, and that are also compatible with the EPA/AED ESP. WHOI will retain ownership of the housing and its associated components, as well as the pucks. The parts to be acquired by WHOI are necessary to allow the ESP to be operable in submerged marine deployments and to integrate it within the NERACOOS testing, mooring, and data stream infrastructure.