Archive for December 2nd, 2009

The Night Before

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

The Scarlet Knight has now flown 7379 km in the 219 days since it was deployed offshore New Jersey on April 27.  It is now located just offshore 12 W, the safety (green) line we drew that kept us offshore of the heavy shipping traffic.

091202_ru27_basin

The recovery crew is in Baiona, Spain.  The recovery vessel, the Investigador, is ready in Vigo.  The vessel is loaded with recovery equipment, the freewave antenna is mounted on the top mast, and three external Iridium antennas are mounted on the port side.   Freewave is how we will talk to Scarlet when we are within line of sight.  Iridium is how we will talk to the COOLroom at Rutgers in New Brunswick, NJ.

investigador

Here is where we are heading.  Just offshore of the 12 W (green) line. Currents are to the southwest, about 12 cm/sec.  We are flying into the current to station keep, maintaining our position as best we can until we arrive on the Investigador.  The waves are forecast to peak early thursday morning.  We'll head out on the decreasing side of the storm, timed to get us offshore by 12 W near first light on Friday morning.  If waves are near the forecast 3 m level, we hope to be able to lower the zodiac into the water for the recovery.

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And here is our target.  RU27.  The Scarlet Knight.  Its the night before we sail. We have prepared everything we can.  We have met the amazingly capable crew on the Investigador and worked alongside our Spanish counterparts for the full day.  Now we try to sleep.

scarlet_inwater

An eye on the weather

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Recovery team is fully assembled in Baiona.  We met last night, looked at the weather.  As expected, the choices are between bad and awful.  We hope to leave during the awful weather tonight to arrive during the bad weather tomorrow.  We meet with the ships Captain in 1 hour, go over procedures, start setting up equipment while still at the dock, and take another look at the weather reports.  Scarlet is placed exactly where we want her, a few miles offshore of the 12 W (green) line in the plot below.  This is about as close as we dare approach at this time.  Someday we will learn more about operating gliders in these waters, but until then, we will stay clear of the swift currents to the south and the heavy vessel traffic.

091202_ru27_alt