In preparation of our upcoming missions we have taken receipt of our new plungers.
The plungers, which actually are Sediment Coring Devices and not really plungers, are used to grab samples of the ocean bottom. The manipulator arm on the submarine (see image below) will take one of these plungers out of its holder and then press down the plunger into the ocean bottom and when it is pulled out again, you will have a nice sediment sample inside the rod for further studies topsides.
Sediments can be studied for biological, physical or chemical analysis. Traditionally, sediment coring is undertaken remotely from surface vessels, however use of an ROV (remotely operated vehicles) or in our case, the use of manned submarines, facilitates the ability to take multiple and high quality cores from highly targeted locations with specific seabed types or habitats.
We actually still know so little of the ocean and it therefore holds yet so many secrets and lessons for us to discover.
Through more and more missions and assignments with our clients or when we do our own, we hope that we may bring back more insights that we all can learn from.