Systems must be tested and independently certified to verify they meet standards applicable to regulatory jurisdictions. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) and International Maritime Organization (IMO) have promulgated separate standards. GBF is designed to simplify the Type Approval process.
Container-mounted treatment systems are supported by below deck structure, and fasteners to secure up to two containers. A support services station is positioned nearby with compressed air, fresh water, electrical power receptacles, ballast water supply and sampling lines, and instrumentation.
Researchers have access to existing ship ballast tanks. Two of these tanks are isolated from the system and are designed as specific test tanks each with a capacity of 432 cubic meters and with large hatches for plankton net sampling. Additional ballast tanks will be used as control tanks. The pumping system can vary the flow capacity of the system and permits treatment on uptake and/or discharge. Depending flow requirements, test can control tanks can be filled sequentially or simultainously. An onboard marine biology laboratory is outfitted with equipment to analyze samples.
Certification testing will be provided by the California State Universities Moss Landing Marine Laboratories to give vendors the independent third-party certification needed for Type Approval of ballast treatment systems. The facility will be available for visiting teams to conduct research and development. Ship crews are familiar with various testing operations, and technicians will be available full time to maximize efficiency of operations. The vessel schedule will be fixed to permit efficient planning efforts, minimizing costly waiting times inherent with working commercial ships.