Field Work

The OEB maintains an on-site Field Laboratory for biological, biogeochemical, and interdisciplinary ocean research.  Through this laboratory, the OEB sustains a cooperative field program mandated with advancing state-of-the-art in- and above-water optical and biogeochemical measurements, which are critical for the calibration and validation of satellite radiometry and for refinement of ocean color algorithms, and working within a global network of partnerships where international expertise can be shared and distributed. 

The overarching goal of the OEB field laboratory is ensuring and expanding the ability of the research community to generate complete sets of in situ optical and biogeochemical data for inclusion in Earth science climate data records and other supporting data records used for ocean color satellite vicarious calibration, data product validation, and bio-optical algorithm development.  Laboratory activities include:  (1) coordination of and participation in interdisciplinary field campaigns; (2) collaborative evaluation of instruments and methods, with attention to revision of uncertainty budgets; (3) revision and distribution of community-vetted protocols for in situ data collection, processing, and analysis; and (4) extensive interaction and collaboration with the research community.     

Ocean Biogeochemistry Laboratory

An ocean biogeochemistry laboratory was constructed for Dr. A. Mannino in 2002 in GSFC. The focus of the research is to study the distributions, sources and sinks of dissolved (DOM) and particulate organic matter (POM) in the ocean to enhance our understanding of carbon cycling. A primary objective is to link the optical properties of DOM and POM (such as absorption, scattering and fluorescence) to carbon in the ocean to be able to examine the carbon cycle using ocean color satellite measurements. Development and validation of ocean color satellite biogeochemistry products are key components of the research program.


 TOC Analyzers, HPLC, GC-MS, and CHNS Elemental Analyzer

"TOC Analyzers, HPLC, GC-MS, and CHNS Elemental Analyzer"


Sample Preparation and Glassware/Plasticware Cleaning

Sample Preparation and Glassware/Plasticware Cleaning


Ultrapath UP-UV Instrument

Ultrapath UP-UV Instrument


Cary 100 UV-Vis Spectrophotometer with External Integrating Sphere

Cary 100 UV-Vis spectrophotometer with External Integrating Sphere

AOP Laboratories and IOP Laboratory

There are two laboratories in Building 28, a calibration lab and an instrument support lab, both of which are co-located with the OBPG. The calibration lab (567 sq. ft.) consists of three areas, a section with three optical benches for optical measurements with black walls and drapes, a foyer or staging area with one optical bench, and a storage room. The instrument support lab (230 sq. ft.) is primarily for staging and storing equipment needed for field deployments. A portable lab sits outside the building, and has power for air conditioning, computers and other equipment. The portable lab was used extensively in the past, e.g., several Atlantic Meridional Transect cruises in the 1990’s.

The in-water AOP sensors include the Biospherical Instrument’s Compact-Optical Profiling System (C-OPS, 2) and a Satlantic Hyperpro. For C-OPS, there is a spectrally matching above-water solar reference, usually mounted on a telescoping mast (3, various sizes for accommodation on different platforms/ships), to ensure unobstructed viewing of the sky, is used for simultaneous measurements of the global solar irradiance. The reference includes a shadowband accessory to measure the diffuse sky irradiance.
We have two IOP packages, one featuring HOBI Labs instruments, and the other WET Labs instruments. The HOBI package contains an a-sphere (hyperspectral absorption without scattering errors), a Hydroscat-6 (six wavelengths of scattering at 140 degrees and two channels of fluorescence), a WET Labs ac9 (9 wavelengths of absorption and attenuation), and a Biospherical PAR sensor. Power and data management are performed by a HOBI Labs Hydro-DAS data handler. The WET Labs cage has two acs instruments (hyperspectral absorption and attenuation), and a bb9 (backscatter at 3 angles, 9 wavelengths) instrument. Power and data management are handled by a WET Labs DH4. 

Field Support Group/HPLC Chemistry Laboratory

This laboratory consists of two rooms, the main laboratory which includes an interior room dedicated to the HPLC sample processing, and a separate room for the freezers.  Below is a mosaic of photographs showing the various instrumentation. 

Instruments in the Main Field Support Lab

Main Lab with Instruments Main Lab with Instruments
Main Lab with Instruments Main Lab with Instruments
Main Lab with Instruments Main Lab with Instruments

Instruments in the HPLC Chemistry Lab

Agilent, 1260 Series HPLC System Branson 450 Digital Sonifier with Ultra-Sonic Probe Accumet XL15 pH Meter Flammable Materials -20°C Freezer