Back to the Drawing Board
Well the hover test we ran last night didn't give us the positive results we were hoping for:
The idea behind this test was that given the deeper we go, the more northern the current shifts, we wanted to take Silbo and only dive for the first couple hundred meters effectively avoiding the bad currents.
So instead of diving to 1000m on two consecutive yo's, Ben gave our little droid the command to dive to 200m, and then do his best to maintain a depth of 300m, +/- 100m (defined as the deadband). Although Silbo was able to follow these commands reasonably well, we made no southern progress and instead drifted just a little bit west.
We also thought that this test would not be very energy intensive. This turned out not to be true. On that dive, Silbo used over 3 times as much energy as normal. Thus we will have to go back to the drawing board to see if we can come up with any other creative ideas to get Silbo out of this head current.
As for Challenger down South, last night she had a bit of an oddity in her flight, but overall is still flying very well. Last night Challenger made a strangely low amount of progress on a 12 hr mission. We noticed that although the depth average current was pointed almost directly at the way point, we flew off more to the north. We think this oddity may have been an error with the current correction command so we may play around with that over the next week to see if we can get some better results.
As the crow flies, we are now just 108 km from leaving South African waters, however the path we will take will be a little longer than that:
Over the next week or so, we will follow a path similar to the white line outlined above. For the next couple of surfacings we will continue to fly towards the way point to the north west, until we reach the outer edge of this counter clockwise warm eddy. Once we each that northern boarder, we will move the way point out to the west towards a way point Antonio outlined late last week that will carry us from South African Waters safely into the open ocean.
Force Wind Sea & Honor