Archive for November 6th, 2009

Friday night, its party time!

Friday, November 6th, 2009

I have been flying gliders for 6 years with my team.  There are times when you have an experience when all is amazing and you feel like you have seen the future.  Today during the 2 PM telecon, I saw the future and lived the potential.  I feel rich.  We have Hyperion providing an overflight around 11 tomorrow. I asked David, "How many of gliders can I get into the Hyperion swath?"  David over the web pulled up the Google Earth module, dragged the time icons, and he  showed the projected area  that can be serviced by several of the gliders.  For a stupid and ocean boat guy, this was mind blowing.  Wow.  I managed to grab the figure, it is posted below.  This was one quinestial moment  for a glider pilot and is a game changer! Wow.


The waypoints were uploaded later in the day.  The gliders are making good progress and we will see how they do tomorrow.  The glider positions tonight are making progress.  The Blue Hen is making great progress, it will be central to making progress as the weekend ends.  It is late, my son's b-day tonight, so the full environmental report is tomorrow.


JPL executive summary for November 6

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Executive Summary of 11/06/2009

Winds have switched to Southeasterly today as predicted. NAM forecasts indicate weak winds Thursday and Friday. Northwesterly winds will resume Saturday with strong wind as high as 30 knots. Excellent SST images are obtained on Tuesday. In addition to the multiple bands in the SST, there is a strong outflow of cold (and probably fresh) water from the NY harbor into the sh lf break (shown in both the GOES and MODIS composite images). The cold water outflow from the NY harbor is evident in some models (e.g., HOPS), although with much weaker amplitude, certainly due to the coarse spatial resolutions. The HF radar data clearly show this strong current near the entrance of the NY harbor. The equal-weighted ensemble model forecast shows a relative weak offshore current in this region, mostly due to the fact that some models (e.g., ESprESSO) have strong current than others. All three gliders are moving along the predicted path.

7 Gliders get ready for the we…

Friday, November 6th, 2009

7 Gliders get ready for the weekend -

7 Gliders get ready for the weekend

Friday, November 6th, 2009

The deployed fleet has grown to 7 gliders.  There are 5 in the Middle Atlantic Bight on a coordinated model-directed coastal mission, plus Drake & Scarlet on Trans-Atlantic missions.  All three regions look relatively cloud free today.


The Mid Atlantic is a glider party, Jersey style.  Somewhere in all that traffic is the new UDel glider, the Blue Hen. Check out the Middle Atlantic Bight blog for an update from Oscar.


Drake is doing fine heading east along the 26.5 N line. I like how it used the eddy between 53W-55W to make the turn into the eastward line.  Its amazing how the surface currents from the altimeter line up with the depth averaged currents from a glider undulating between the surface and 1200 m.  Drake is just now starting to encounter the northward currents from the clockwise eddy centered near 51 W.  Drake has an excellent weekend ahead of him.  Can't wait to see how he does.



It looks like Scarlet has made it past that small current to the NE  that threatened to whip her around in a tight circle back to the west.  Last night shifted the waypoint just a bit to the south to help ensure that this would be the morning outcome.  Today at the 11 am surfacing we'll go back to an easterly course.  Currents where within only a few degrees of Scarlet's course last night, so we got a good read on her speed.  Scarlet's current speed relative to the water is 16 cm/sec, or just under 14 km/day.  Last week's estimates where about 15 km/day.  So she is slowing down.  We have 1 more pitch adjustment left. After that, we start flying too steep for the attitude sensor.  Plan for the weekend is to continue flying east to about 14.5 W.  At that point we start the turn to the northeast towards the green circle of the pick up zone. This morning's distance to the Spanish EEZ is 170 km.  091106_ru27_alt_zoom