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Simple Cabled Instrument for
Measuring Parameters In Situ

Cutting Edge Subsea Monitoring

 SCIMPI is an inexpensive seafloor borehole observatory for unconsolidated sediments.


The SCIMPI concept affords tremendous operational cost savings during deployment. Emplaced via drill ship, the modular system provides flexibility. Choose the number and spacing of modules in near-real time based on borehole logging. No ROV is needed to deploy the system, you can drill, log, and emplace the observatory all during one visit to the station.

Extremely frugal power management keeps the observatory actively collecting data for years between visits to its the ROV-replaceable seafloor battery pack, or can be connected to cabled observatory infrastructure.

A SCIMPI prototype consisting of nine measurement modules was successfully deployed at ODP site U1416 in May 2013 during IODP Expedition 341S. Data were retrieved from the command module three months later and again in May of 2015, and presented at the AGU Fall meeting.

The system was jointly developed by the University of Rhode Island, Transcend Engineering, and Woods Hole Marine Systems, Inc., and funded by IODP Management, Inc. 


SCIMPI-Compatible Measurement
and Command Modules

Transcend Engineering was a key performer in the development of SCIMPI and is pleased to offer custom fabrication of fully SCIMPI-compatible Measurement Modules and Command Modules in 17-4 PH Stainless Steel and Grade 5 Titanium.

Our SCIMPI-Compatible Subsea Observatory Modules incorporate fully re-designed electronics that improve on the functionality of the original SCIMPI prototype we developed for IODP-MI. 


  • Versatile modularity

  • Ultra long battery life

  • Up to 128GB, internal data storage

  • Cabled observatory connectivity, IODP drill, ship compatibility, and ROV serviceability.​

  • Standard modules measure pressure, temperature, and conductivity.

The Modules

Cutaway view of a P-T-R Measurement Module

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Cutaway view of a T-R-B Measurement Module

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3-Chamber P-T-R-B Measurement Module

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Cabled modules

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Deployment Gallery

SCIMPI Deployment Videos 

SCIMPI is deployed into a borehole over 1600 meters down, through the

drill string of the JOIDES Resolution, May 2013.

SCIMPI Data Retrieval at ODP889

ROV dive at ODP889 to retrieve SCIMPI Command Module. The ROV arrives at the SCIMPI at around 4:15:00, disconnects around 5:10:00 and then picks up and ascends around 6:23:00.

SCIMPI originator Dr. Kate Moran (seated) and post-doctoral researcher Tania Lado Insua prepare deployment plans.

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Assembling the SCIMPI string on deck of the JOIDES Resolution.

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Lowering SCIMPI down the drill pipe to the ocean floor.

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The Command Module rests in the make-up plate with over 200m of SCIMPI cabling and modules suspended in the drill pipe below.

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Attaching the ERS release system and Multi Function Telemetry Tool (MFTM) that will monitor SCIMPI health on the way down.

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Ready to descend and release.

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