Archive for November 16th, 2009

Biology Group: Preparing for the Palpable

Monday, November 16th, 2009
Hello All.


It's been a hectic few weeks for everyone working in, and orbiting around, the COOLRoom. Over the weekend, early Saturday morning, our stoic Scarlet glided right into Spain's EEZ. Given that the recovery is still yet to occur, this may be a bit premature to exclaim, but: we made it! Scarlet's 'crossing over' means so many different things for a large group of hardworking, dedicated people. But the members of the Biology Team (being 'biologists' and all) are once again preoccupied with barnacles.  

Given the pomp-and-circumstance of this historic moment, it's easy to forget the palpable goals of the mission, and the necessary processes that must now occur, after the distance has been covered. History has been made (is still being made), but now Scarlet's recovery is on everyone's minds. The students of the Atlantic Crossing class have been preparing for this stage of the mission all semester, working on specific elements that are sure to influence the process of Scarlet's recovery. Other groups, such as wind, waves, weather, and boating will effect when and how the glider can be recovered from the ocean, viagra hinta, factors that have many potential economic, mechanical, and procedural consequences. Most of the other groups have had archives of topic specific data sets to work with, make predictions based on, etc. provided by different software networks, most imaged from satellite technologies. Us? Well, we've had a few jgps to handle, but little tangible data to work with, and certainly no "sets" of glider specific barnacle data to refer to. Barnacle growth on an AUV 200 days at sea is, like everything else about this mission, an unprecidented occurance. 

When it comes to barnacle research, I have come to believe that nothing can be substituded for "the real thing." In order to understand anything about the biology that has grown (still growing) on RU27, we need to sample. So Scarlet's recovery means something really exciting for the biology team: access to specimens!

The acquisition of palpable barnacle data, among other things, is an issue of logistics. So, I set up a meeting with Judy Grassle on Thursday to discuss the proper procedure for preserving barnacle specimens. Chip will be on the boat, and hopefully, over the side of the boat on the recovery trip, gently easing Scarlet into the zodiac (in 6 meter waves, if we're lucky). He'll be the one actually scraping the specimens off of Scarlet. Here is the tentative procedure Judy and I came up with:


Recovery Itinerary: Barnacle Preservation


A) carefully remove specimens from all areas of biological growth

 [Ideally, we would be able to procure samples from each species present, and each surface area of growth! ]

B) immediately after barnacle removal from glider, in air tight jar, immerse specimens in a 10% formalin solution (in filtered seawater) 

  [make sure each species from each surface area sampled are placed in separate jars and labeled accordingly!]

C) After 24 hrs: rinse samples in freshwater --> transfer to 70% ethyl alcohol solution



Transfer barnacles into tightly sealed jar w/ 70% ethyl alcohol straight after removal


Question we need to answer: 

a) What exactly do we want to sample - just barnacles, or biofilm (film of microscopic organisms) and whatever else?

b) What do we do with them - what tests should be done?

c) Where are they going - back to IMCS? Elsewhere? If in formalin solution: how do we ship the hazardous material?


Hopefully we will have these Qs answered this week. It's down to the wire. And these barnacles are the one thing that RU27's impeccable pilots have not been able to adjust for during flight. In this case, theory won't do: we need to understand the actual nature of the biological growth in order to improve future flight patterns.




Amanda, Brian, Montana, Gina

The Pilgrims Crossed the Atlantic and so will RU27!

Monday, November 16th, 2009


RU27 successfully crossed the EEZ into the waters of Spain over the weekend!

Team Google Earth has begun collecting .kmz's from the groups and organizing them for the new webpage. We are asking any group that has not sent their .kmz's to one of us (Dave, Chris, or Jason). Please do so as soon as possible, as we would like to send Igor the .kmz's before Thanksgiving. Also, send any .kmz's that you may have already sent to Igor because we would like to organize and design the webpage in a deliberate fashion.

We have also been working on compiling data for the vertical Google Earth profile of RU27.

A sample of data we recently recorded is:

On June 17, the glider increased to full speed by changing the buoyancy pump from 90% to its full range, and by increasing the dive and climb angles from 26 to 35 degrees. This change was designed to get out of a counter-clockwise rotating eddy. The glider velocity was recorded at 62 cm/sec.

Additionally we are finalizing an email to Google asking for a resource to better plot a vertical path in Google Earth.

If any group needs help with one of their projects or help with working with Google Earth, please feel free to ask a team member.

We now have a new data source for use by the glider team: SST (Sea Surface Temperature) off the coasts of Europe (specifically Spain) and Africa. Below is an image of the new SST imagery:


We are working with ULPGC (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) to get the data and manipulate it for use in Google Earth. This data imagery, along with the MODIS Chlorophyll-A data imagery from ULPGC, will be vital towards piloting RU27 in the last leg of her voyage off the coast of Spain.

-Dave, Chris, & Jason

“You can’t change the wind, you can however adjust your sails.”

Monday, November 16th, 2009
This week we continued to take screenshots and over lay them into Google Earth.
November 11, 2009 5:40 pm EST

November 11, 2009 5:40 pm EST

November 11th did not show many boats outside the shipping lanes.

November 11, 2009 11:56pm EST

November 11, 2009 11:56pm EST

November 12, 2009 1:32pm EST

November 12, 2009 1:32pm EST

November 12th also showed few boats outside of the shipping lanes. Thursday did show an increase in the number of boats traveling.

November 12, 2009 12:07pm EST

November 12, 2009 12:07pm EST

November 15, 2009 5:30pm EST

November 15, 2009 5:30pm EST

Yesterday once again showed the same basic trend in number of ships traveling and ships outside the shipping lanes.

November 16, 2009 3:58pm EST

November 16, 2009 3:58pm EST

Today showed an increase in ship traffic outside the shipping lanes. The ships do not appear to be too far away from the Spanish coast but they are outside of 10º West. Their distance does not appear to be a potential problem when picking up RU27.

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 the RUCOOL website that show recent shipping traffic and the worst case scenario. These can be under the vessel tracking group.

-Amelia, Shannon, Leo

Weather Group update for 11/17

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Hey all

This week Justin and I continued to look at correlations between the Jet Streams path and weather patterns for the Spanish coast.  Looking at this upcoming week we found days that would be an example of better days for retrieval than others.  Examples for a good day is shown in the pictures of this wednesday (the 18th)  while bad is seen on the 21st.

Jet Stream for wednesday 18th

Jet Stream for wednesday 18th

Precipitation Map for the 18th

Precipitation Map for the 18th

Jet Stream for Saturday 21st

Jet Stream for Saturday 21st

Precipitation for 21st

Precipitation for 21st

Justin and Nilsen

Deep Glider Deployment!

Monday, November 16th, 2009

DeployedWednesday November 11th marked the first glider deployment for this years Antarctic field season. We couldn't of asked for better weather, it was a balmy 30 degrees, clear sunny skies and flat calm seas. We journeyed out to Station E and after surveying the water depth in the area, we decided it was a good spot to splash RU25. After she completed a few short missions it was time for her journey to begin. The main mission is to obtain a battery curve for this glider in preparation for her flight to Rothera later in the season. However, we will also be running the CTD and optics puck and collecting some science. Enjoy the photos!

Passing a Bergimg_6319

“There are moments when you have to just walk away and cry.” – Lou Angeli

Monday, November 16th, 2009

This week is one of disaster and peril.  Drake blew its weight and is now floating in the Atlantic.

On the bright side, our contacts from Southampton are currently servicing their moorings along 26.5 degrees North and drake is only 10 miles from the 50 degrees West mooring.

We are currently trying to contact the group servicing the moorings and determining if they can pick up Drake.

On another note, we have received the mooring data from the Southampton group and can access it for future use.

The weekend after…

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Well the Nor'Easter has passed.  Lots of storm erosion at the shore and the people are picking up the mess.  Meanwhile the gliders still fly.  We had many interesting conversations on Friday through the weekend.  On Friday, the RU and UDel gliders teams tried to figure out the best strategy to keep us from the beach given the worst case forecasts.  This discussion was had with the 2 gliders being smack dab in the middle of the shipping lane.  In an ideal world, we would have the 2 Southern gliders linger between the shipping lanes until pickup on either Tuesday or Wednesday.  The currents at the time made this look optimistic if not dream land.  But to our relief currents lessened and the gliders regained control and seem to be making a good go of moving where we want.  This bodes well for a Delaware Bay pick-up. The Northern gliders were directed to fly towards Tuckerton for a pick-up  One glider has already arrived and will linger.  The other glider which was advected well to the South is making good progress and should be there in a day or two.  One of the gliders will be cleaned and shipped to California for the US-Norwegian NORUS program next week.



While this was going the team was taking a deep breath with RU27 officially reaching European waters in Saturday.  Pick-up is scheduled for the first week of December.  Drake continues its path across the Atlantic, and the deep water Antarctic glider was launched last week and has surveyed the penguin feeding colony before heading out to sea to survey the shelf. It is never boring but always great to be at sea!




A New Roadmap from Spain

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Ever since Scarlet entered Spanish waters, she has been fighting with a strong current to the south.  Our usual geostrophic current maps derived from the satellite altimeter have not been of any help.  The currents calculated from space are not agreeing with what Scarlet sees on the ground.  Especially worrisome this morning was the strong current to the southwest running at 22 cm/sec.  This is something we cannot fly against, so we have to turn sideways to it, and find more favorable currents.  But which way to turn?  Should we run perpedicular to this flow to the SE and try to get closer to shore? Or should we try to the NW?  Guidance from our usual source, the geostrophic currents, can't be trusted.


That means we must turn to the models, where all the forcing is included.  Just minutes ago Antonio sent me this result from the model runs he is looking at.  We find Scarlet is on the western edge of a strong jet up to 0.6 knots in speed that is heading to the southwest.  The current is too broad to cross without being swept back out to sea.  Our best alternative is to favor the NW route, even though it seems like we are turning back away from Spain.


Below we zoom into the location of Scarlet at the edge of the jet.  We'll start this turn by heading more to the north at the 11 am surfacing.