Now that we have 29 on the bench, its time for the analysis to begin.
First off, upon recovery, it was discovered that we had some minor growth on the hulls:
Overall the growth was pretty minimal for a glider at sea for 188 days as there were a handful of small barnacles scattered over the hull- most likely attained during the 3 weeks spent in the shallows during the approach.
The main concern however is corrosion...
Although the hull of the glider is composed of carbon fiber, the ends are capped with aluminum rings. Three of the five rings on our global class glider (containing the extended battery bay) suffered from corrosion. The two rings attached to the payload bay however did not suffer the same fate. It looks like these sections will have to be replaced before redeployment.
The pitch battery mount also is scraping as it moves fore and back causing metal filings to fall in the hull.
The team will continue to work on Challenger through the remainder of the week and spit ball ideas about how we can proceed.
Force Wind Sea & Honor