Archive for November, 2009

“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” -Grace Murray Hopper

Monday, November 30th, 2009

This week we continued to take screen shots and input them into Google Earth.

November 30, 2009 6:45pm EST

November 30, 2009 6:45pm EST

Today showed a decent number of boats traveling through the shipping lanes and not too many outside the designated area.

November 30, 2009

November 30, 2009

This is today's screenshot inputted into Google Earth.

Our worse case scenario still appears to be October 12th.

Worst Case Scenario

Worst Case Scenario

The kmz for this can be found on the RUCOOL website.

This week Dave showed Shannon and I how to take our screenshots and put them into an animation. This animation can be found earlier in the blog posted on November 24th.

-Amelia, Shannon, Leo

Norus Summary

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Over the past week Dani, Colin, Nelsen, and myself participated in the second NORUS workshop at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. Over the course of the week we were able to introduce others to the glider technology, learn about the REMUS and IVER2 Auvs the Crawler and another ROV. We were also able to connect with students from all over the world to learn about what they were studying, and how we could help them! For more information on the NORUS program please see our website at .

ha det og takker (norwegian for good bye and thank you)!

Bring on the dramamine!!!!

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Hello all-

During our weekly meeting, we were asked by Josh and Scott about the waves.  We checked on our buoy, Capo Silleiro, only to discover that it hasn't been working since last Thursday.  We used another deep water buoy, Estaca de Bares--the northern most buoy in Spain--for our wave measurements:

Significant Wave Heights



If we were to simply look at these graphs, we would conclude that the waves would not vary much.  They would stay at 4 m high with a period of 8 seconds.  However, we looked at wave predictions provided by Puertos del Estados, which predicted something VERY different:

In 48 hours...

In 48 hours...

In 60 hours...

In 60 hours...

In 72 hours...

In 72 hours...

We do not know how accurate this is because two deep water buoys along the coast are down and incorrect.  If we assume that the other deep water buoys are accurate, however, we can predict that the waves will be horrendous (around 5-6 meters, or 15-18 feet).  If we were to make a suggestion, we would suggest retrieving the glider as fast as possible, otherwise lives may be at risk during the recovery.

-Dani and Melissa

Predictions For January and A Movie For Us All

Monday, November 30th, 2009

This week Marcus and Kaycee worked on the glider video and continued to watch Drake's movement in the Atlantic.  We found that one our previous predictions (pink path) is appears to be accurate so far and an eddy has appeared in the south and could cause a different path.  Drake also slowed down from 0.11m/s to 0.10m/s making its travel distance 2678400m by January.  We will continue to monitor its path.



Early Weather Group Update Week of 12/1

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Hello All,

As requested last week; here are the Jetstream forecast models for this coming week.



Dec 1

Dec 2

Dec 3

Dec 4

Dec 5

Justin and Nilsen

Compensating for Biology

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Its Thanksgiving here in the U.S., so most of us on this side of the Atlantic where home. But something offshore Spain was hard at work.  We weren't spinning, but something pulled us to the right so that the fin was hard over, trying to keep us on course.  Whatever it was, it stopped at 11 am this morning, so its still a bit of a mystery.  We'll continue to watch this, and look for a pattern.  We've seen day-night patterns in behavior, and new moon, full moon behaviors.  


Right now our plan is to head northeast, so we'll compensate by steering a bit to the left.

NORUS workshop 2

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Hey all!

The purpose of our journey to San Luis Obispo was to educate the participants of the NORUS program of new technologies that could be used to research the changing Arctic environment.  Additionally there were many opportunities to have fun.  For example, we started the workshop by hiking in a state park:img_14621

Monday 23:

On Monday, John Kerfoot gave an detailed overview on the "guts" of the glider and the programming required to run a smooth mission.img_1609After putting RU16 back together, we brought RU16 out to a ballasting tank on the Cal Poly Pier to prepare it for a brief mission along the California coast.pic_0024


Tuesday 24:

On Tuesday we quickly went through the mission planning for 16's trip around California and got out on the Zodiac to deploy.img_1701

After deployment Cal Poly participants informed us about the IVER 2, a propelled AUV that uses sonar to monitor the coast. Although the IVER2 run short-term missions, it is very efficient and is low cost.img_1734

Scott Layton, Cal Poly

Scott Layton, Cal Poly


Wednesday 25:

On Wednesday, Mark Moline educated us on the REMUS, another AUV.  It is like the IVER2 because it runs short-term missions, however it carries more sensors and has a GPS system.  The students had a short competition to write code for a mission that was then carried out a little ways off the pier. img_1770img_1783

We then learned about crawlers, which are small tank-like sampler that crawl along the bottom of a basin and take samples; and ROVs, which are small, tethered, and remotely controlled robots.img_1807img_1815


Thursday 26:

On Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving the "California way" by learning how to surf and having a nice traditional thanksgiving dinner (including turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes) at a country club.img_1831


Friday 27:

Friday, we worked as a group on the lay out of the NORUS website,, and discussed future workshops in Tronjheim and Svalbard.  Also mentioned are relevant courses taught at UNIS in Svalbard that are to happen at the beginning of May and in mid September (

That's all for now.  I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving and break!

Dani, Katie, Colin, and Nilsen

Pinzon’s plan – heading downstream.

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Cloud band has moved south, just below Scarlet's track.


Here is our worst case vessel traffic image.  There is the intense north-south routes along 10 W, plus another couple of traffic routes running from Northeast to southwest marked by the two red lines.


SST shows we are in some relatively warmer water, and to our east, we see southward flowing colder water.


And zooming all the way in, but keeping the red traffic lines up are are heading northeast along one of the lines. Currents have been favorable this week, alternating between NE and very small. This has been making everyone happy on both sides of the Atlantic.  We are making some distance, getting ourselves closer to shore for next week's trip to Spain.


Vessel Tracking Animations

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009


Above is an animation of the vessel traffic from the week of October 12, 2009. This animation includes the "worst case scenario" image.

vessel_tracking_animation_2Above is an animation of the vessel traffic from this past week (11/16/09-11/24/09).

Boats, Boats, and More Boats

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

4:50 pm EST
4:50 pm EST

We continued to take screenshots of shipping traffic and overlay them into Google Earth.

Wednesday November 18th didn't show much traffic outside the shipping lanes except for one that got away from the rest of the pack.

Thursday  Nov. 19thThursday November 19th was just as quiet as wednesday, however there were fewer ships seen.

Tuesday Nov. 24th  3:08 am EST
Tuesday Nov. 24th 3:08 am EST

Tuesday November 24th showed a bit more traffic outside the shipping lanes but not enough to cause a panic.

Monday Nov. 23rd  12:45 pm EST

Monday Nov. 23rd 12:45 pm EST

Monday November 23rd showed the most boat traffic all week with the most number of ships.  A few even came close to RU27's current waypoint.

Worst Case Scenario

Worst Case Scenario

Our group has been inputting screenshots into Google Earth of the worst case scenarios in order to help determine what possible issues could arise when trying to pick up Scarlet.

We have also added additional .kmz files that can be downloaded from theRUCOOL website that show recent shipping traffic and the worst case scenario. These can be under the vessel tracking group.

We are also currently working on comparing the amount of traffic to the wave height and jet stream data in order to see if they have an effect on the number of ships we see and their location.

~Leo, Amelia, Shannon