11. AUTONOMOUS INSTITUTIONS UNDER THE DEPARTMENT
11.1 National Institute of Ocean Technology(NIOT), Chennai
NIOT was established on 5th November 1993 as an autonomous institute under the Department of Ocean Development (DOD), Government of India, with its Head Quarters inside the IITM Campus. Subsequently all the scientific, technical and administrative personnel moved to the new campus at Pallikaranai in the southern suburb on a 50 acres site. However, coastal and environmental engineering group is continuing to function at IC & SR building in IITM Campus.
NIOT is serving as the technical arm of DOD, through its dedicated inter-disciplinary team of engineers and scientists by taking up technology development and demonstration projects in ocean related areas.
The major activities carried out during 2001-2002 and the accomplishments are listed below:
Floating Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) Plant
A 1 MW floating OTEC technology demonstration Pilot project was sanctioned in September 1998 under the ‘JAI VIGYAN MISSION’ programme to be commissioned at 60 km South East of Tuticorin, South India. The site was selected after conducting bathymetric Surveys for 1200 m contour and temperature measurements. The power plant consisting of ammonia circuit system, condensers and evaporators and a four-stage axial flow ammonia turbine coupled with alternator were configured on a floating OTEC barge of size 71.5 x 16 x 4m. The barge was built by Dempo Ship Building and Engineering Ltd., at Goa as per IRS class requirements. The design inputs for the power cycle were finalized in association with M/S. Saga University, Japan. Three moon-pools were provided in the barge for cold-water, warm-water and mixed water sumps. A 12 m high retractable sump system for cold seawater was designed and incorporated to enable berthing of the barge in the jetty in retracted position. This sump can be lowered to 10m below the keel of the barge while in operation for providing the required Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH) for the cold water pump considering the frictional loss in 1000 m long pipe line. The titanium plate condensers and evaporators of the power moduleare one of the largest of its type in the world and the evaporator plates have been provided with special steel coating on ammonia side to achieve the maximum heat transfer.
The four-stage axial flow ammonia turbine of 1MW rating was designed indigenously by Turbo Tech, Bangalore, with technological Inputs from NIOT. All other major components were procured, fabricated and integrated on the OTEC barge, based on mechanical and electrical interface and functional requirement considerations. The ammonia pipeline system was qualified by subjecting to pressure tests. A sophisticated Distributed Control System (DCS) along with safety interlocks was designed and introduced in the system for remote and safe operation of the power plant. Suitable number of life saving and fire fighting appliances were positioned on the barge as per safety requirements.
A special High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE) pipe of 1 m dia and 1000 m long was selected for bringing deep seawater through the condenser and also to serve as a structural element for single point mooring. Special fusion welding process was adopted for joining the standard pipes of 12m length procured from the supplier and the joints were tested by ultrasonic method. The other components like transfer hose, bullet nose assembly, elbow and hold fast mechanism have been designed to withstand the marine environment and a special holdfast friction clamping methodology was adopted for the interface connection between HDPE and the metallic components. A surface buoy has been designed to support the entire weight of the mooring system.
A quick acoustic release system was evolved and incorporated in the mooring link to disconnect the HDPE pipe from the anchor chain to ensure the recovery of pipe and other expensive materials after the completion of the performance evaluation of the OTEC plant. The deployment operation was carried out during March 2001 after assembling of mooring components at the Tuticorin port and towing of the pipes from the shore to the site. During the deployment process, the release of the anchor and mooring chains from the vessels could not be controlled as envisaged and an uncontrolled release resulted in the failure of the mooring, which led to the disconnection and loss of the pipe, anchor system and its accessories.
Subsequently, the design of mooring system, material/component choices for the various components and sub system, installation procedure, etc. have been reviewed by a special expert committee consisting of members of offshore industries, certifying agencies, EIL, IIT Madras and NCL Pune. All the recommendations of the Committee have been implemented. In addition, the studies recommended by the committee were also taken up and implemented for the successful accomplishment of the deployment. They are HAZOP studies for process system and Risk Analysis by CLRI, Chennai and HAZINST studies for deployment by EIL, Delhi.
The deployment procedure also was redesigned with the use of single crane barge instead of using multiple vessels, which were used last time, to eliminate mid sea interface connections. The next deployment is proposed to be taken up during 2002 pre-monsoon weather window.
One other promising form of renewable Ocean energy is wave energy. In order to develop technologies to utilize the wave energy from the oceans and to convert wave energy into electrical energy, a wave energy demonstration plant was established at Vizhinjam in Kerala. An experimental work was also carried out to produce freshwater from seawater by utilizing the wave energy, to cater to the needs of coastal community. Currently, a Reverse Osmosis based desalination plant is being integrated with the wave powered turbine generator to deliver a rated capacity of 10,000 litres/day.
Deep Sea Technology and Ocean Mining
NIOT has successfully completed an intermediate technology demonstration of a crawler based deep-sea mining system at 410 m.
This system had a flexible riser and single stage piston pump. Seabed was dredged and the slurry with a concentration of 17% by weight was pumped from seabed to the surface ship. A proposal for in-situ measurement of geotechnical properties of seabed at 6000 m deep nodule site is under processing by DOD for sanction.
An underwater thruster of 1.6 kW rating and 140 mm diameter was designed and developed for operations up to 1000 m water depth. Performance evaluation of the thruster using towing test facility available in IITM was taken up. This underwater thruster could be used for underwater intervention systems like ROV and other surface vehicles.
Sea trials of ROV developed by CMERI were conducted by NIOT. Some modifications to improve the quality of visual pictures have been recommended.
Coastal and Environmental Engineering Group
The Coastal and Environmental engineering group is involved in coastal related areas namely coastal process, coastal engineering and coastal environment. Coastal process activity includes sediment transport and storm surge modelling studies. The Coastal engineering activity includes oceanographic, bathymetric, marine geotechnical and hydrographic studies and investigation using CPT, Rock corer and Vibro cores. In addition to this, the design of offshore structures and groyns is also undertaken by this group. Under environmental engineering category, the group has undertaken many environmental impact assesment studies for many coastal projects.
In addition to this, two major research projects for ICMAM and COMAPS programmes were also undertaken by this group. They are Waste Load Allocation and Waste Assimilation Capacity studies in Ennore, Tapi & Hoogly estuaries and developing Environmental Impact Assessment guidelines for marine and Coastal Development activities.
The group also offered consultancy services to various government organisations and private companies. The details of the major consultancy work undertaken by this group are listed below:
· Seabed Engineering and Oceanographic Investigations off Mannakodam for Kochi Refineries Ltd (KRL), Cochin for M/s. Engineers India Limited, New Delhi.
· Bathymetric and Geophysical surveys in the approaches of Pipavav Port & Establishing Chart Datum at GPPL site & Hydraulic studies and Surveys at Pipavav Port Development for M/s.Gujarat Pipavav Port Limited, Mumbai.
· Oceanographic, Geophysical and Geotechnical Investigations at Dahej for M/s. L&T Limited, ECC Group, Chennai.
· Bathymetry, CPT and Geophysical surveys for M/s. Ennore Port Limited.
· Seabed Engineering surveys for the proposed SPM location off Ennore Port for Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited.
· ROV based investigations for Lower Sileru Hydro-electric scheme – Donkarayi Dam for M/s. APGENCO.
· Marking of HTL/LTL for MOEF clearance – Kakinada Terminal for M/s IOCL, Chennai.
· Modelling studies for disposal of dredged spoil in Gulf of Khambat for NEERI, Nagpur.
· GPPIL-Exploration work for Ground water resources at Positra Special Economic Zone for M/s. Gujarat Positra Port Infrastructure Ltd.
· Identification of underwater obstructions at Kandla Port for M/s. Kandla Port Trust.
An archaeological site was discovered at 40 m depth below sea surface during a marine survey conducted by NIOT in the Gulf of Cambay, which is 30 km off the Gujarat Coast and west of Hazira. The side scan sonar fitted in the vessel picked up several acoustic images of probably man made structures and geometrical in shape. The images indicated the presence of a river bed during earlier times. During a subsequent cruise, more than 2000 artefacts were
collected by grab dredges. The artefacts recovered included river conglomerates, broken pottery, semi-precious stones, possibly stone tools and stone ornaments with holes. The dredged carbonised samples were sent to two premier Institutions, namely, Birbal Shahni Institute of Palaeobotany in Lucknow and the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) in Hyderabad to determine its antiquity. The institution dated it as 7900 + BP. Based on this carbon dating, it is believed that the civilization in Gulf of Cambay could be of pre-harappan period. The archaeological samples were also displayed to the Parliamentary Consultative Committee chaired by Hon’ble Minister for Ocean Development in New Delhi on 19.12.01 and the findings were made public in a press meet convened by him on 16.1.2002.
Instrumentation and Control Group
The main focus of the Instrumentation and Control Group is to develop underwater instruments for ocean related application apart from establishing the necessary test facilities for calibration of underwater instruments. The Group has taken up various research projects on long-term & short-term basis. Under the long-term project category, an Acoustic Tide Gauge (ATG), Integrated Underwater Survey System and development of transducers were taken up on priority. Development of an Acoustic pinger/release system and Portable digital current meter were taken up under the short-term project. Under the research project category, a project on “Underwater Ambient Noise”, sponsored by Naval Research Board was taken up.
An Acoustic Test Facility consisting of acoustic tank of size 16 x 10 x 7 m, comprising an Automated Transducer Positioning System (ATPS) and a fully automated Acoustic Calibration System are being
Acoustic test facility with a tank
of size 16 X 10 X 7m, at NIOT, Chennai
commissioned for characterizing the underwater acoustic projectors, hydrophones and for calibration purposes. The civil works, air conditioning and erection of 3T EOT crane have been completed and the installation of the ATPS is in progress. The pulse based calibration system procured from M/s. Bruel & Kjaer, Denmark would be commissioned by May 2002.
An IP 65 class Acoustic Tide Gauge (ATG) has been designed, developed and patened for measuring tidal parameters required for bathymetric survey studies and also for measuring the mean sea level height. Several ATGs have been fabricated and successfully installed for the first time in the country, at various ports, namely Chennai, Tuticorin, Port Blair and Cochin Port. The tide data obtained are being used by Survey of India, Navy and other agencies. As a part of bilateral cooperation, one such tide gauge has been successfully installed at Qui Nhon Tide Station in Vietnam.
A single element underwater transmitter operating over a wide frequency range from 500Hz to 12kHz was fabricated for the first time in the country. A standalone micro controller based, 33kHz single beam echo-sounder was developed and tested in the laboratory. As a part of development of a sub-bottom profiler, a Digital Signal Processing card was configured and a chirp signal of 2-16 kHz to drive the transmitting transducer was generated. The tow body for the Integrated Underwater Survey System (IUSS) to accommodate echo-sounder, sub-bottom profiler and side- scan sonar was designed and being fabricated. A marine survey software for data logging and navigation using a GPS and echo-sounder was successfully developed.
An acoustic pinger of 12kHz frequency range with 2,000 m depth rating was realized after several developmental field tests using the vessel A.A.Sidorenko for locating underwater objects.
A strain gauge based Portable Digital Current Meter of range 0 - 5 m/sec and an accuracy of 0.1m/sec with an RS 232 interface was jointly developed with IITM, Chennai for instant measurement of current speed.
11.2 National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), Goa
The success of the Antarctic Programme and our sustained capabilities in Antarctic science and logistics prompted the department to establish the first polar research lab of the country at Goa namely the National Centre for Antarctic & Ocean Research (NCAOR), functioning as an Autonomous Society since 1998. This Centre has a specific R&D mandate in the realms of polar science and to coordinate and launch Indian Antarctic expeditions. This Centre has the facility for application of remote sensing techniques aimed to understand the sea-ice-atmosphere interaction in the Polar Regions. When fully operational, it would have a unique laboratory for low temperature research on ice cores retrieved from Antarctica and the Himalayas.
The building of Laboratory complex housing ice core laboratory & various analytical equipment is ready for specialised set up of analytical facilities. The state-of-the-art cold room facility to preserve ice core samples collected from Antarctica and from Himalayas would be created in this building. NCAOR has started in-house R&D activities in the following three-thrust areas:
1. Polar remote sensing
2. Global change
3. South Ocean Oceanography
NCAOR is the nodal agency for launching of the annual Antarctic expedition and is responsible for implementation of the various scientific programmes in the contemporary areas of polar science and to provide logistic support to maintain our permanent base “Maitri” in Antarctica. Well structured and designed objective pertaining to scientific programmes and logistic support at Antarctica are assigned to the expedition team. The salient scientific objectives of 21st IAE are outlined under heading “Polar Science” in this report.
The objectives of Logistic activities carried out by the Centre are enumerated below.
Aging of Maitri and impact of severe blizzards and snow ingression on it has resulted in poor thermal insulation, leakage, etc. Three power houses with a total capacity of 637.50 KWA provide power supply to the Maitri station. Four hot-water boilers connected by the pipeline to all the utility areas and living rooms and forty hot water room radiators constitute the central heating system. The pipeline over the years
has become rusted at many joints resulting in leakage and insufficient hot water flow through room radiators. Water supply to Maitri and summer huts is catered to by a pump house in Priyadarshini Lake through a trace-heated, ducted pipeline of about 255 metres. A large fleet of snow-mobiles, helcopters four cranes, two Bull-Dozers, a number of Piston Bulley snow mobiles, etc., constitute the life support system for logistics in Antarctica. The Expedition cargo in twelve to fifteen containers and about 300 KL of Jet-A1 fuel are normally sent along with the team to Antarctica for year-round use/consumption. For executing the scientific tasks of some of the Scientific Organisations, field camps are established at Dakshin Gangotri point and at one or two locations Up-keep of station infrastructure and all life support systems, maintenance and efficient operation of all the generators and the power lines, replacing the complete pipe-line and the defective/in-efficient radiators and maintenance and efficient running of the central heating system, maintenance and efficient operation of pump house, trace-heating and duct line for water supply, maintenance of all the snow mobiles, the Polar Bear vehicle, convoy operation to shift the containerised cargo and Jet-A1 fuel from shelf to Maitri are regular tasks organised and carried out by the logistic team of the expedition. Handling of containerised cargo from the Ship to shelf, establishing the field camps and winding them up at the end of the experimentation, installation of fire-alarm system and maintenance of all types of fire-extinguishers, up-keep and restoration of the natural habitat of Maitri and its surroundings are the other tasks addressed by this team.
In-house R&D activities:
The NCAOR is responsible for coordinating various scientific activities in the contemporary areas of polar science with the participating R & D institutions, universities and other govt. departments. In addition to such coordination of scientific activities of expeditions some state-of-the-art research facilities are being set up for ice-core analyses, using sophisticated equipment and ice cold laboratory for storage. It also provides the logistic support required for the Research & Development activities carried out at NCAOR in the following three major thrust areas.
Polar Remote Sensing: India’s OCEANSAT-I, MSMR data were analysed jointly with SAC, Ahmedabad to study sea-ice extent and its seasonal/inter-annual variability. A study of the changing behaviour of sea-ice extent over Antarctic region, based on a long-term monitoring of the Antarctic sea-ice using passive microwave radiometry, has shown a very weak increasing trend over the period 1979-1986. MSMR estimate of the annual average sea ice extent over Antarctic for 1999-2000, of 12.73 Million Sq. km, was slightly higher than the average values observed. The MSMR data showed a consistently increasing trend of approx. 0.046 Million Sq km per year. Such a trend is also expected to result from the balance of opposing trends observed in the Weddel Sea and Ross Sea sectors.
Southern Ocean Oceanography & Paleoclimatology: A cruise to understand the physical, biological, geological processes would be undertaken in 2003 with the involvement of several national institutions, for which a master plan has been drawn.
Antarctic Global Change Research: The MSMR data along with data from other foreign satellites were used to study the effect of global change on sea-ice extent.
Collaborative projects: Collaborative research projects have been taken up with K. Banerjee Centre for Atmospheric and Ocean Studies, Allahabad on numerical modelling and with Space Applications Centre Ahmedabad on MSMR data.
11.3 Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad
The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) is an autonomous body under the Department with a mandate to synthesise, generate, provide and coordinate various endeavours in the field of ocean observations, satellite oceanography, ocean information and advisory services to a wide spectrum of users from society, industry, government and scientific community. The vision of INCOIS is to emerge as a knowledge and information technology enterprise for the oceanic realm. Synergy and knowledge networking with Centres of Excellence in ocean, atmospheric sciences, space applications and information technology, as well as translation of this scientific knowledge into useful products and services, comprise the cornerstone of INCOIS for emerging as an Institution of national relevance.
INCOIS is responsible for (i) providing potential fishing zone advisory to all maritime states and islands of India, (ii) establishing state-of-the-art IT infrastructure for the oceanic realm, (iii) implementing ARGO programme, Indian Ocean Dynamics and Modelling Project (INDOMOD), Satellite Coastal and Oceanographic Research Project (SATCORE) and Ocean Observing Systems (such as Drifting Buoys, Current Meter Arrays and Expendable Bathythermograph and Sea Truth Validation Campaigns) with active participation from a network of premier institutions, (iv) managing a network of Marine Data Centres, and (v) establishing an Ocean Information Bank and web based services.
The significant achievements of INCOIS during the year 2001-02 are:
· INCOIS started functioning from a new leased premises for implementation of programmes and providing services to the users.
· Information Infrastructure facilities such as Computer systems, application software and other peripherals as well as communication
system required for providing operational services were commissioned.
· Development of a web-based multilingual online solution, which would facilitate users to query, analyse and download ocean information and
advisor services, was initiated. INCOIS signed a long-term agreement with a premier IT Company for development of ocean portal and web-based services.
· Development of a permanent campus for INCOIS at Hyderabad was initiated.
· A comprehensive proposal in consultation with leading oceanographic institutions on Ocean Observation Science & Information Programme (OOSIP) was formulated for implementation during the 10th Plan.
· An Indian Ocean ARGO Implementation Planning meeting with participation of 17 countries was organised. INCOIS was identified as the regional coordinator for the Indian Ocean region and regional ARGO data centre.
· To lead the process of establishing the Indian Ocean GOOS, a Development Committee [IOGOOS-DC] was set-up under the chairmanship of Director, INCOIS. IOGOOS-DC Secretariat will initially be located at INCOIS.
Director, INCOIS was identified as one of the four experts who would undertake a comprehensive review of the Global Ocean Observing System.
Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) Advisories:
The PFZ advisories are generated based on 3-day-composite map of Sea Surface Temperature from cloud-free data of AVHRR sensor of NOAA Satellites. The SST maps are used to delineate upper ocean processes such as gyres, eddies, thermal fronts, advection, mixing, and surface circulation relevant to surface biological processes, where fish tend to aggregate. The generated PFZ maps are disseminated to fishermen community through fax and print media along with explanatory text. Currently efforts are underway to integrate the data from the Ocean Colour Monitor of IRS P4 for improving the PFZ forecast. The know-how developed by Space Applications Centre (SAC) under Satellite Coastal and Oceanographic Research (SATCORE) project has been acquired for operationalisation of integrated PFZ advisories at INCOIS.
· PFZ advisory service was sustained by INCOIS, jointly with National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA). PFZ advisories were disseminated twice a week (Tuesday and Friday) to 200 nodes from Gujarat, Maharastra, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Lakshadweep as well as Andaman & Nicobar Islands (50 Offices of State Fishery Dept., 55 Central/Corporations/Academia and 95 Private/Associations). In view of the cloud cover during the monsoon season and more importantly since that season corresponds to the breeding season of fish, PFZ advisories were not given in the context of maintaining fishery stock at sustainable level.
· A Market research survey was conducted in three States (Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat) for improvising the PFZ advisory service and the recommendations were reviewed and adopted. Implementation of the other recommendations emanating from the market research survey was taken up.
· Catalysed R&D studies through the SATCORE Steering Committee and NNRMS Standing Committee on Ocean Resources
· Multilingual advisories were generated on a trial basis. This would be operationalised by March 2002.
· In the pilot phase, four Information Kiosks are being established.
· User interaction workshops were conducted jointly with the state fisheries departments at Ratnagiri (Maharastra) and Nizampatnam and Machilipatnam (Andhra Pradesh), for promotion of PFZ advisories.
Ocean State Forecast (OSF)
Ocean State Forecast was identified by the Department of Ocean Development as one of the primary goals for the 9th plan. The Satellite Coastal and Oceanographic Research (SATCORE) and Indian Ocean Dynamics and Modelling (INDOMOD) projects of the department would feed the OSF activity. The OSF has emphasis on providing state-of-the-art ocean information and forecast to the users e.g. navy, shipping, oil, fishery industry, etc. and the information encompasses predictions and dissemination of geo-physical information like surface winds, sea surface temperature, surface waves, mixed layer depth and storm surge. The OSF activities are envisaged in two phases – Phase I involves near real time prediction up to 5 days and dissemination of the aforesaid five ocean state parameters to the users and Phase-II involves consolidation of the achievements in Phase – I and taking up R&D efforts to enhance the scope by introducing more ocean parameters.
INCOIS orchestrated Experimental Ocean State Forecast Pilot Study jointly with SAC/ISRO, NCMRWF, IIT-D, IISc, and DNOM during May-July 2001 for generation of Ocean State Forecast for 3 parameters from INCOIS. Users (ONGC, SCI, Coast Guard) meet was held jointly with SAC/ISRO at Mumbai in April 2001 and August 2001.
Programme on Array for Real-time Geotropic Oceanography (ARGO):
The Array for Real-time Geotropic Oceanography (ARGO) is an internationally coordinated programme for deployment of an array of 3000 profiling floats at a spatial resolution of 3° x 3° (300 km x 300 km) to measure temperature and salinity profiles of the upper ocean (up to a depth of 2000m), periodically. These temperature and salinity profiles are expected to improve the understanding of the oceanic processes and contribute to improved prediction of climate variability.
The ARGO floats, equipped with pressure, temperature and salinity sensors, would drift up to a depth of about 2000 m and popup to the surface every 10 days for a short period to transmit the data in near real-time via Satellite to ground stations.
Data from the global array of profiling floats would be put on GTS immediately to enable its use in operational forecasting. Delayed mode data, after detailed quality control checks by the ARGO Data Centres, would be available within a few months via internet. The expected life of each float is about 4 years.
India is participating in the ARGO Programme and plans to deploy 150 floats in the North Indian Ocean (north of 10°S). INCOIS was assigned the overall responsibility for implementation of Indian ARGO Programme. A Canadian ARGO Float deployed successfully by INCOIS onboard FORV Sagar Sampada Vessel in December 2001 is providing good quality data. Data from 20 ARGO floats currently deployed in the Indian Ocean by different countries are being archived at INCOIS. This data would be made available to the scientific community through INCOIS ocean portal. INCOIS participated in the International ARGO Science Team meeting. Study on “Analysis and Synthesis for Indian Ocean ARGO Programme” was initiated jointly by Indian Institute of Science and INCOIS. A Project Report for the Indian ARGO Programme (150 Floats) by INCOIS, NIOT and IISc was prepared for implementation in X Plan.
Marine Data Centres:
A network of 14 Marine Data Centres (MDC) was established by DOD in the 1990’s under the MARSIS Programme, in National Laboratories and Academic Institutions to collect and collate data, undertake quality control exercises and archive in digital data bases. They are located at Geological Survey of India, Kolkata; KD Malavia Institute of Petroleum Exploration, Dehradun; India Meteorological Department, Pune; Survey of India, Dehradun; National Hydrographic Department, Dehradun; National Institute of Oceanography, Goa; Fishery Survey of India, Mumbai; Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi; Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow; Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute, Bhavnagar; Orissa Remote Sensing Applications Centre, Bhubaneswar; Institute for Ocean Management, Chennai; Regional Centre, National Institute of Oceanography, Mumbai and National Remote Sensing Agency, Hyderabad.
Efforts are underway to achieve the metadata and catalogue the databases generated at various MDCs and to integrate with the Ocean Portal being developed at INCOIS for wider accessibility. The Information Bank of INCOIS is currently having the various data bases including 4 GB of historical in-situ data; NOAA Satellite data from 1991; data from Moored and Drifting Data buoys, Current Meters XBTs and ARGO and Coastal Area Maps from Nellore to Orissa border.