Archive for October 3rd, 2009

UVM Saturday

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009


Teledyne Webb's thermal glider Drake continues tracking to the north, finding steady currents in this direction.  Yesterday we moved the waypoint to nearly straight north to follow those northward flowing currents in the satellite altimetry below.



The Scarlet Knight continues to fly into a head current that is wobbling around westward.  Sometimes the current flows northwest, sometimes southwest. Today it looks like southwest.  Just like a sailboat, we repond by tacking.  Last week our response was to move the waypoint to the northeast in reponse to the northwest current.  With the current switch to southwest, we move the waypoint to the southeast, towards those strong eastward currents in the eddy to our east.  We'll email Scarlet this change of waypoint so she can pick it up next surfacing.


The answer to DBL's question posted in the last blog is that the bizzare change in Scarlet's direction was exactly one of these maneuvers.  It was put in place by two of our student pilots, Dave K. and Shannon H. They saw that the westward current direction that was slowing our progress was changing direction slightly during one of Scarlet's surface intervals.  Rather than just fight this current, they quickly moved the waypoint north before Scarlet left the surface.  The result is a quick change in direction to find a better current.


The example above is just one of the great interactions I have with our 30 students everyday.  I have even met several of their parents.  This blog is their textbook, so by asking questions like this, you are contributing to its writing, and their education.  Thanks.

Now, with Drake and Scarlet set for the day, I am off to see another side of college education. Today I get to be the visiting parent at the University of Vermont.