The Marine Institute Research Vessels routinely collect data while undertaking scientific surveys. Surface Underway data such as water depth, surface water temperature and salinity, and meteorological data are logged continually to an onboard database while the vessels are at sea.
This data is then taken back to the office at the end of the survey and is subjected to some automatic quality control procedures before being uploaded into a central database, accessible via the Marine Institute's Maps Online project. All data requests are managed centrally through Data services.
Most scientific surveys also take CTD profiles (Conductivity-Temperature-Depth) at specific stations. This torpedo-shaped probe is lowered down to a specific depth, continually recording information as it goes, thus giving us a picture of the physical structure of the water column. The CTD instrument package is often enhanced to measure other parameters such as fluorescence and dissolved oxygen, and these measurements help in our understanding of biological processes occurring in the water column. The CTD data is processed using proprietary software and is then stored in a central archive where it is available for use by scientists and the public alike.