Skip to content

Sentry Pre-Cruise Planning


In planning for a cruise there are many issues that must be addressed in advance to ensure a successful cruise. The following is a breakdown of the responsible parties involved in planning a cruise using ABE. The figure on the right shows the flow of information from the scientists to Deep Submergence Lab (DSL) personnel.

Chief Scientist

  • The chief scientist is the primary point of contact for NDSF personnel to become familiar with the objectives of the cruise. It is therefore of the utmost importance that the Chief Scientist establish a good line of communication early in the planning process to ensure that the appropriate actions are taken by the operational group. First contact may be with the CSDS, but subsequent information flow is primarily with the DSL POC and Expedition Leader
  • File cruise objectives via the Cruise Planning Questionnaire at an early stage in cruise preparations
  • Enter all items necessary to accomplish science objectives in the Questionnaire, including standard and custom science gear
  • Provide an outline of the cruise objectives in the Questionnaire
  • Contact and begin a dialog with the DSL POC to ensure that information from the Questionnaire is discussed with lead personnel

Chief Scientist for Deep Submergence (CSDS)

  • May serve as first point of contact for potential AUV users
  • Will ensure user-operator communications are effective and that perceptions of capabilites and operations are accurate
  • Will provide support and guidance to DSL POC in an advisory role as operations plans mature

Deep Submergence Laboratory Point of Contact (DSL POC)

  • Central information point for all cruise related issues
  • Keeps cruise issues organized and coordinated
  • Initiates and coordinates communication between the Chief Scientist, DSL lead engineers, Expedition Leader and Navigation and Data personnel
  • Coordinates all DSL operations logistics

Expedition Leader

  • Works with the Chief Scientist through the DSL POC and Cruise Planning Questionnaire to gain a full understanding of the cruise objectives
  • Ensures that all of the science objectives listed on the Questionnaire are addressed and understood
  • Ensures that all AUV gear necessary for a cruise gets aboard the ship
  • At sea, is in charge of all AUV operations including launch and recovery of vehicles, safety concerns, and scheduling daily operations
  • Formal at-sea liaison between the Chief Scientist and operations team

Pre-Cruise Meeting

  • Based on input from the Cruise Planning Questionnaire
  • Intended to establish formal dialogue about cruise-specific engineering and data requirements
  • Can be held at WHOI with the Chief Scientist and operational team and/or via conference call
  • Minimally, the meeting is held three months prior to a cruise
Flow of information in pre-cruise planning.