Cleaning work of equipment could be one of the most important processes in lab study. Sometimes, it could even occupy 30% of your time in the lab. However, how does it look like in a field study? The KOSMOS cleaning could be divided into two parts: inside and outside. (KOSMOS: Details could be found on the blog “Our Ocean Instruments”)
Why to clean?
It is not an easy job to clean the huge KOSMOS. The inside cleaning usually needs three men working together to finish it and the outside cleaning could only be done by people with scientific diving license. Then, people may ask why we need to put so much effort on it. There must be a good reason behind this.
The main purpose of the study is to understand how pelagic ecosystem will respond to continuing ocean acidification. So, KOSMOS is set floating on the ocean. However, benthic species, like shell, could grow on the plastic of it. If they grow inside, they could change the food web in the KOSMOS. If they grow outside, they could grow very fast under good living condition and prevent the light getting into the KOSMOS. It is a big problem for long term and large scale field study. That’s why a regular cleaning is so important. It will guarantee the study to go on smoothly.
How to clean?
Generally, the KOSMOS will be cleaned every 8 days. A loop will be used for inside cleaning to minimum the influence of cleaning process. The loop is with a similar size of KOSMOS, but a little larger than it which means the loop could rub with plastic and clean it appropriately. The outside cleaning looks like more interesting. Divers will dive with a brush on the hand and brush the plastic like craftsmen.