November 2 Evening update

Why are the gliders heading in a circle?

The first big victory of the OOI OSSE occurred on Sunday night.  The planning and prosecution software used model forecasts to provide a series of the waypoints that were loaded into the glider flight plans.  The waypoints guided the gliders for the day.  At 2:00 EDT we in the team conference call agreed to a series of offshore waypoints fanning the three gliders out across the shelf.  Upon some of the afternoon call backs we notice that the gliders we heading back to shore!  That reflects, our guess, the glider heading back to a waypoint inshore by the path planner, and the glider had went past the assigned waypoint during its flight.  The glider therefore backed up and headed back to the missed point.  The gliders now however have been given a series of new waypoints and have begun to now swing around and head back offshore.  It will be an interesting experiment as the currents are strong and perhaps the gliders will be advected offcourse during the next few hours.  We will have some fun exploring ways to optimize the software as part of this OOI construction phase.

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The conditions of the shelf have not changed dramatically over the last 12 hours. There are strong northward flowing currents.  The particle loads are enhanced in the nearshore bottom waters.  Not shown, but the no stratification in temperature and mild cross shore gradients in salinity.

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Where are we going? Below the yellow line shows the actual glider path.  The blue line shows the CI path planning course (here using the path planning based on the Rutgers ROMs model).  We will follow to see how well the glider does.  There will be several things to follow in the coming days, we have several different ocean models, you can check to see how different the predictions are between the models.  We can see how well the glider does.  Remember if the glider does not follow the path planning it can reflect unrealistic models, it can reflect changing ocean conditions, it can reflect ocean conditions stronger than glider flight capabilities.  Updates to follow in the AM!  Real ocean tests are always the best!

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