Archive for July 16th, 2008

A new RUCOOL Google Earth link

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

A new RUCOOL Google Earth link has been created to show and interact
with the RUCOOL data.  Unlink the last RUCOOL data link, there is no
kmz/kml file to download this time.  Instead we'll point Google Earth to
a network link, that way, the link can be updated and we won't have to
worry about versions, bad links or any of that.

To add the new data link,
1. Open Google Earth
2. Remove any unwanted overlays from My Places
3. Clear both your disk and memory cache
(Tools->Options->Cache(a tab along the Options window)
click->Clear memory cache (Ensure that Memory Cache Size>=500MB)
click->Clear disk cache.      (Ensure that Disk Cache>=600MB)
The larger the cache, the less likely a crash.
4. Click Apply, Click Ok to confirm your options
5. Click Add->Network Link
6. for Name enter RUCOOL
7. for Link, enter

Justin Shapiro

Google Earth tour of new path planning data

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

We are in the process of switching over to new data products for RU17 path planning.  Here is a quick tour. Below is the gobal MODIS 4 km Sea surface temperature product from NASA enhanced for the region around RU17.  We have layered the clouds from the visibile satellite sensors to show that it is clear over RU17, but Bertha lies to our west and is heading our way.


Below we zoom in to the region around RU17 and get a closer view of the sea surface temperature near RU17.  the center of the cold eddy we are now in is visible.  We are shooting northward along its eastern side.

Below we flip on the sea surface height and geostrophic currents derived from the satellite altimeters by Colorado.  The cold eddy appears as a stong low (blue), just like a storm in the atmosphere. RU17 is riding the easter edge north, following the currents to about 40 N where we turn east.

Below is the Navy's NCOM model.  It is the lower resolution model that is used to give the larger scale feastures of the flow.  Here we have contoured current speed only.  We have other plots for speed and direction.

Now we zoom in to the higher resolution Navy NLOM model. Here the cold eddy appears as a strong circular motion that the model resolves.  Most of the daily decision making will be made off this high resolution NLOM model.

Next we will add some new products from our friends in Spain and the Canary Islands.

Tropical Storm Bertha Update

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

NOAA National Hurricane Center has tropical storm Bertha passing RU17 located near 40 N, 45W sometime on Sunday morning. The forecast track has it passing to our west.


Below is the forecast probilities for Tropical Storm speed  winds from Bertha.  RU17 is located on the right side of the track, the side with the most severe winds. If you find 40 N, 45 W on the wind probability map below, you'll see that the worst of Bertha's winds are heading right at RU17.

Below are the North Atlantic forecast waves for today from Oceanweather.  Significant wave heights in the green spot associated with Bertha look to be about 20 feet high.

So a Tropical Storm is heading right at us.  What do we do?  Actually, there is very little we need to do.  While surface vessels usually steer away from storms, gliders are robots that we typically steer into storms.  When Tropical Storm Ernesto shot up the New Jersey coast back in 2006, we turned 6 gliders and headed them into the worst part of the storm.  With Jim Moum from Oregon State University, we are building a hurricane hunter glider for an Office of Naval Research project.  He was at Rutgers yesterday with his crew as we continuing to assemble RU10.  His group installed the accelerometers that will measure waves, we talked of future modifications to the nose for turbulence sensors, and how we will want to mount an acoustic current meter for next year.  Next year we'll be using the same stretch payload bay design we are test flying on RU17 right now.  But this year, we'll strap all the sensors to the outside, and have RU10 sitting ready on the Jersey coast, waiting for a hurricane to come our way.  

Back in the cold eddy

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Yesterday RU17 made great progress out of that strong jet to the southwest, and is now picking up currents from the eastern edge of the cold ring - the one with the remoras.  We moved the waypoint north to where the currents turn west in the satellite altimetry.


Here's the current speed and direction time series plot. You can see how the currents switched direction on July 15th, a very happy day for all of us.  We will next try moving RU17 a little deeper into the ring to try to speed things up a bit on this segment that gets us to 40 N, and a better path east.