The research vessel Robert D. Conrad, owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory (LDGO) of Columbia University (Palisades, N.Y.), is a multi-use ship that is principally employed for marine geology and geophysics surveys. For the last 10 years, the Conrad has had a multichannel seismic (MCS) capability, which is used to determine deep structure and velocity of the suboceanic crust around the world. While it is expected that the Conrad will be replaced by a new vessel sometime in the 1990s, the needs of current and future projects required that her MCS capability be upgraded and enhanced now. The National Oceanic Reflection Profiling Organization (NORPO) recommended in 1985 that up to $2 million be invested in the immediate upgrading of the MCS capability of the U.S. academic research fleet (see “Marine Multichannel Seismology Workshop ” in Eos, February 11, 1986, p. 70). This recommendation bore first fruit in late 1985, when The National Science Foundation (NSF) granted $425,000, matched by $ 100, 000 in Lamont-Doherty institutional funds, for an upgrade to the seismic source system on the Conrad.