Archive for November 9th, 2009

Time Binds…always a grueling part of a scientist’s work.

Monday, November 9th, 2009

After class last Tuesday, Team Google Earth headed to the COOL room to create a new underwater image of the glider to be used in RU27's Summary Sheet that will be sent to the White House. This particular image shows the event of the successful deflection depth change from 35 meters to 40 meters. This image will allow the reader of the summary paper to understand how the glider flies via visual cues without having to waste excessive and precious paper space by explaining and elaborating on the glider's buoyancy driven flight system.


We are continuing to delve deeper into the Atlantic Crossing scientists’ blog to accumulate the important underwater events along RU27's path which includes bio-blips, dive and climb angles, and deflection depths. All of this information will be used in plotting the vertical flight path of RU27 into Google Earth. We are currently focusing on creating the end of the gliders voyage in the vertical axis plot for Google Earth. Since we have 3 people working on the project, to maximize our output efficiency, we have Chris working from the end-backwards and Jason working from the beginning-forwards in the blog as they work to meet in the middle, while Dave works on the Google SketchUP/Google Earth/MatLab translation of the YO profiles. Creating the vertical axis plot is a time consuming process and we want to make sure we work towards getting the more important segments of the voyage in a .kmz by the end of RU27's flight to Spain.

In addition, we drafted a letter to send to Google requesting information concerning two things: (1) the current task of importing vertical axis data into the current version of Google Earth, and (2) the potential for standard/user-friendly vertical axis data input into future releases/editions of Google Earth.

Also, as a follow up on the webpage and to help Igor, Dave and Chris each sent out an email this week requesting that all groups please send their .kmz’s to a member of Team Google Earth if possible, with a description of each, what it is for, and if it auto updates. You can check your email for the contact information.

-Dave Kaminsky, Chris Filosa, Jason Werrell

Testing New Waters

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Hello all,

This week's temperature data has continued to show us that the thermocline position is steadily moving downward. Last week, we saw the thermocline starting at slightly above 40 meters where as this week we see it starting at just below 60 meters. The thermocline does not appear to be as strong as it had been in the past weeks. As far as the glider is concerned, these changes in the thermocline will not reflect in a change in the flight pattern. Below is a plot of this weeks temperature data.

Currently, we are constructing a trans-Atlantic contour plot using the data from RU27's CTD casts throughout her journey. We are trying to find a way to insert this data into Google Earth in a 3d visual model. We recently came across Google Earth 5 and have high hopes that it will be able to support our massive contour plot. We will keep you updated weekly on the changes in the thermocline position and strength as we strive to create our 3d model.

Colin & Abe

Meet The Scientists!

Monday, November 9th, 2009

p10107861Currently here at Palmer Station there are 7 scientists representing 3 different groups. In the picture to the left starting in the back row and working our way across we have Kristen Gorman, Maggie Waldron, Brian Gaas, Tina Haskins, Alex Kahl, Jenn Blum, and Dan Whiteley. Kristen and Jenn represent B-013, their work consists of the monitoring of various seabird species around the peninsula including the Penguins. Their PI is Bill Fraser, who has been coming to Antarctica since 1974 monitoring various seabird colonies, primarily the Adelie penguin. Maggie and Dan work under Hugh Ducklow and are exploring the world of microbial ecology and population dynamics here in the Western Antarctica Penisula. AKA they are the bacteria folks on station. Lastly, you have us Phytoplankton nerds in group B-019 working for Oscar Schofield. One of the things we are trying to understand is how changes in phytoplankton dynamics, such as an increase in fresher water due to melting ice, propagate through the ecosystem - with such effects ultimately affecting fish, seabirds, and marine mammals. Collecting this information involves various methods including sea water sampling, bio-optics, and the use of AUV's otherwise known as Slocum Gliders.

“It doesn’t make a difference what temperature a room is, it’s always room temperature” -Stephen Wright

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Courtesy of Chip

JPL Executive Summary 11/9/2209

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Executive Summary of 11/09/2009

Very weak wind conditions are observed today. Near perfect NAM forecasts are seen when compared with buoy measurements. NAM indicates a continuous 2-day cycle in wind amplitude showing weak to moderate amplitude. Excellent SST images are obtained Saturday and Sunday. We are getting the new glider data from UDel, and the data should be online in the coming hours. We are developing a new weighting method to produce the multi-model ensemble, which should be available tomorrow Tuesday.

Starting the 2nd week of OSSE

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Hi all,

We kick-off the second week of OSSE activities with lots of great accomplishments in the first week, but now look to a final push for the next 7 days. In order to structure the efforts in the coming days, here is an outline of the “events” for the week and the planning of what we want to accomplish with the mobile assets.

We have flown the gliders together to demonstrate the ability to pull assets together. This behavior test complements the tests from the week before where we had 1) gliders fan out away from each other to cover the shelf, 2) gliders fly parallel to each other in cross shore mode, 3) coordinate spatial locations to provide potential cal/val for the Hyperion overflight on Saturday, and 4) demonstrate the ability to swarm by having assets come together. These gliders were complemented nicely with a multiple vehicle deployment last week having several AUVs fly a high resolved box in the nearshore environment. Here not only swarming but vehicle/vehicle communications was tested.

Science efforts have focused on the formation of the winter bloom and initial examination of the unique hydrographic signatures north near the Hudson canyon. There have been nearshore discussions about coastal jets, radiant heating and tides. What has been particularly gratifying is we have been conducting nice behavior test, several very use science data sets have been collected. The question is what is the best use of the assets in the coming week. I toss out candidates that I mined from last weeks dicussions. This first test will be conducted Monday through Wednesday, Wednesday we will have the community choose waypoint missions.

Technology tests:

1) Having the gliders together, choose a mission but have each glider directed by a different model. We have 4 gliders and 5 models + the ensemble. I am still uncertain about how much control we have on the blue hen. Eli can help?

2) Use the variance plots of the ensemble to redirect gliders to areas of maximum uncertainity. Latest plots suggest this offshore, more out in fishing areas, but there are regions on the shelf.

3) There still interesting features on Northern shelf associated with Hudson canyon. Do we fly one or several systems up there? This will be a little challenging given the shipping lanes, but I am open.

Given OOI is supposed to serve the wide range of oceanographers in a distributed manner. I picture the next few days being a test of how a marine IO (me this week) coordinates the activities of science users. You, the modelers are the users. So for today, let’s you guys drive, I will just make sure we fly in safe areas. So think of yourself as the teenager with the keys to the car. I will send our glider status in a few.


Lets hope the third time is the charm

Monday, November 9th, 2009

After our first unsuccessful attempt at transferring an image of the glider over the Iridium phone failed miserably, it was time for us to try again to get the Iridium phone to transfer the image successfully. At first everything seemed to be going well because this time we had the charger for the Iridium phone this way the phone could not die on us, but that was the least of our worries. As we went outside with all our equipment last Thursday we noticed not only was it freezing cold, but it was an insanely cloudy day. Everything was aset up and ready to go, but the Iridium phone could not get a signal no matter what we did. We keept moving the phone around outside of the IMCS building in hopes that we had a signal, but everytime I got a signal 2 seconds later we lost it again. After trying for over an hour (and freezing our butts off) we decided to call it quits and try again another day. Personally I believe the phone is cursed, but we will try again this week to get the Iridium phone to work. Lets hope that the third time is the charm. Keep your fingers crossed.

Iridium Phone

Iridium Phone

Logisitics Group
Dakota and Nikki

98 Kilometers to the Spanish E…

Monday, November 9th, 2009

98 Kilometers to the Spanish EEZ -

98 Kilometers to the Spanish EEZ

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Drake remains steady on the 26.5 N line over the weekend. Depth average current is up to 8 cm/sec.  We continue to find the deep gliders to be easier to fly from point to point.  Currents are smaller over their range of operation.  We are much closer to being a ship than a drifter.  The shallow gliders are more like half ship, half drifter.


The Jet Stream continues to meander across the basin, leaving clear skies over the Middle Atlantic Bight and over Spain, but with Drake in clouds.  Very different from last week.


The Satellite sea surface temperature maps are starting to come in.  There is about a day delay.  The clear areas to our west are showing up now.  Maybe later today or tomorrow we'll have SST back.


Satellite altimetry shows that persistent current running just along 12 W to Lisbon.  That is our escape route if things go bad.  Get into that current, minimize surfacings to avoid ships, and recover from Lisbon if we have to.  The targeted eddy inside the Spanish EEZ shown in green appears to look more like a loop in this jet rather than an eddy.  That will complicate the recovery process.  Still, its good to be thinking about a recovery process rather than the alternative.


The north-south component of the ocean current reported by Scarlet has been fluctuating rapidly, sometimes to the north, sometimes to the south.  It is too rapid for us to follow with an 8 hour update cycle. However, the east-west component of the current is steady to the east.  So we'll take advantage of that and just fly east.  We can let the wobbly north-south component change sign as it decides, while we use Scarlet's velocity to increase the eastward component.  The distance to the Spanish EEZ is down to 98 km.  Distance travelled along the path length from New Jersey is 7120 km.  Distance made good on the last 8 hour segment was just about 7 km.


Today at the 11 am surfacing, we'll check out how Scarlet is flying, and likely make our final pitch adjustment to increase her forward speed.