Archive for November 23rd, 2009

RU27…a book in her own.

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

This week, Team Google Earth completed reading and summarizing the seemingly-endless the scientist's blog for RU27 to identify specific events to map out along the glider's vertical flight path, including dive depths, angles, and bio blips. Some examples of these progressive events include:

May 2, 2009: RU27 leaves the continental shelf and heads into deeper water. The dive depth was increased to 140 meters at first, and then eventually 180 meters, with the climb-to depth being set at 40 meters.

May 12, 2009: RU27's deflection depth was rasied to 20 meters.

June 17, 2009: RU27 was increased to full speed, by increasing the buoyancy pump from 90% to its full range, and by increasing the dive and climb angles from 26 degrees to 35 degrees. This enabled the glider to fly out of a cyclonic eddy.

June 29, 2009: The dive and climb angles were changed to 35 degrees again, which increased velocity in order to get through a strong current.

August 11: Buoyancy pump and dive depths - the glider dive angle was changed to 36 degrees, and the depth of the top inflection was changed to 35 meters from 30 meters because 40 meters was too low. The thermocline during this time was at 40 meters, and when the glider went to this depth, the pressure was pushing the buoyancy pump in too quickly, which generated stray electricity, and caused the glider to shut down the pump to protect itself.

August 28: RU27 was ascending from 150 meters, and was held motionless at a depth of 73 meters for three minutes. This caused a reversal in direction, which pushed the pump in too quickly and caused an abort. This caused RU27 to come straight to the surface, and when she called in, there was no subsurface data, and she could not dive. She was set to drift for the night while the field crew slept. Divers eventually added 70 grams of lead to RU27 which enabled her to dive again.

Bio Blip compilation - YO Anomalies

First: June 3 - anomalies occurred between 40m and 100m.

Bio Blip June 3

Second: July 4 - anomalies occurred at 61.5m

Bio Blip 2

Third: July 7 - occurred anomalies between 60m and 130m

Bio Blip 3

These events will be formatted into two Google Earth .kmz's: (1) a pin-point collection of data for surface viewing, and (2) a subsurface vertical flight profile.

Data from ULPGC is helping a great deal with RU27's final weeks of her mission, as she needs to stay in a safe area away from heavy vessel traffic and southerly pushing currents. Not only are the 5 data types (CHL-A, SST, SSH, CURRENTS, EDGE SST) from ULPGC being formatted for Google Earth, but archived-to-realtime data is being animated for the potential to predict the movement of eddies and currents. The first of these is an animation of SSH (Sea Surface Height) to track the movement of eddies. The animation is from November 17, 2009 to November 22, 2009.


These animations differ from others in that they are a fade animation. While they are more time consuming and labor intensive to produce, they create a smooth-motion effect which enables the viewer to more easily follow movement over time.

-Dave, Chris, & Jason

“Row, row, row your tub?”, and Mother Nature beats out good old mankind once again. Go green.

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Hey all!! Here are just a few more paths that we thought you might find most interesting!! Having some technical difficulty with the kmz uploading so they will be up as soon as possible.


One of the paths is of a tub that managed to go from the east side of the Atlantic Ocean to the west side of the Atlantic Ocean by the current system. It is not what you actually think it is. This tub is more of a 6’ unmanned object that is closed over on top so that no water breaks through and sinks it. It is kind of like 27 in a way except for it looks like a giant piece of trash.

Another is a path of a man who used the power of the wind to drive him from Boston, Massachusetts up through Nova Scotia all the way over to Portugal in 55 days!!!!!! Mother Nature rocks!! The best part is that he had no help from motors, batteries, or any other man made part except for the actual boat itself. He beat out the world record for the fastest transatlantic motor boat crossing by 20days. Pretty cool!

If you liked any of those there should be a couple more for you wait to be discovered.

It seems like there are more and more paths that 27 crosses over every time we look in 27’s direction. 27 is a beast!!!!

That’s all folks!!!

~Katie, Erin, and Dan

Sitting on the beach with some crazy norweigans!

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Katie here with an update from california and the NORUS program. It's officially day 2 and we have already learned so much.

Saturday consisted of a hike through a local state park including tide pooling, rock climbing, and a very adament lecture from mark about poison oak. sun-on-wavesmarkAfter our hike we enjoyed dinner at a local restaurant followed by a glider overview presentation by Rutgers' own John Kerfoot.

This morning began with a walk out to the Cal Poly Pier, a wonderful station that they are letting us borrow for this week. We began with a physical glider overview including what parts go where, and what each part does.  After a few minor problems with the glider, we put the glider in the tank and made sure our ballasting was accurate. We then spent some time working on the program's website: . After this we are going to  have short break and dinner.  We then plan to have a lecture on autonomus vehicles from Cal-polys own Dr. Chis Clark.

Keep your eyes peeled for more pictures and information from the work shop!

-Katie, Dani, Colin and Neils

The NORUS group

“The groundhog is like most other prophets; it delivers its prediction and then disappears.” -Bill Vaughn

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Although Drake may be no longer swimming, he is still calling in everyday around 21:00-22:00 GMT everyday.

Drake's current velocity is approximately 0.11m/s.  If this continues till January, which is when the next ship will able to pick Drake up, Drake will have travel 361,152m.  This gives Drake at least three projected paths for this time period:


We will continue to monitor the current systems around Drake to keep accurate predictions of where he will be.

Post analysis of Drake's data is our next step in working with Drake in order to determine heat transport along 26.5 degrees North.

A Visit from Neil Armstrong!

Monday, November 23rd, 2009
Neil Armstrong with B-019

Brian, Tina, Alex, Neil Armstrong, and Carol

This past weekend Palmer Station had a very exciting visitor, NASA Astronaut Neil Armstrong and his wife Carol. They were aboard one of the National Geographic cruises that stops by Palmer. Neil and Carol got a full tour of the station and then we got to spend some time with him and talk to him about gliders. He was very interested and even started testing the flexibility of our glider wings which made us all a tad nervous. After his visit on station, the National Geographic Crew invited us aboard their boat to watch Neil give a talk later that evening. It was quite the opportunity and we were all very appreciative of the offer.

Uncertain Seas

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Our last course change over the weekend was to turn Scarlet towards shore in Baiona and Vigo.  Current speeds had dropped, and we saw our chance the head towards shore and try to get out of this southwest current that has been holding us back.  Currents reported by Scarlet this morning have now switched, and we see the first northerly flow in over a week.  Our waypoint is northeast, currents are northwest, we are good.  A positive development after a week of difficult navigation.  One very interesting development, in fact the first map I have seen like this along the entire trip, the overlay of the different current guidance products shows we have all compass points covered.  The satellite altimeters (black arrows) say the currents are to the SE.  The HYCOM model (white arrows) say the currents are to the SW.  The glider (white lines along the track) says the currents are to the NW. And we are flying Scarlet to the NE.  Today we continue to examine why our uncertainties in the state of the ocean are so high in this location.