Demonstrations of real-time mass spec systems for UM will be conducted in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea on research vessels and DEME vessels. In addition, we will conduct a demonstration of the in situ system on an ROV at the Kolberger Heide site.
When sampling marine waters there are several challenges to overcome compared to regular lab work. That is why we constantly have to improve our methods and procedures. Within the AMMOTRACE project we are currently focusing on taking water samples with CTD-rosettes (Figure 5 and Figure 6). The data provided by the conductivity meters, temperature and depth sensors combined with discrete water samples from different depths provides very important information for assessing release and distribution of munition compounds (MCs). Later on, in the project this can be used to evaluate the capabilities of the two new mass spectrometers (MS) developed in AMMOTRACe.
But the focus is not only on water samples. Especially for the case of detecting remains of chemical warfare agents (CWAs), the collection of sediment samples is important. CWAs can remain in the marine environment for a long time being absorbed by sediment particles without losing their hazardous potential. Therefore, we are taking sediment samples with Van-Veen grabs (Figure 7) and multi cores (Figure 8) at sites with low CWA levels. These sediment samples also serve a second purpose since they can easily be analyzed for MC as well. The routinely performed sample processing steps can be seen in Figure 9. It basically is a solid phase extraction to get rid of excess water and a pre-concentration step subsequently to obtain chemical levels which can be analyzed.