Following a second TOBI2 launch yesterday and overnight tow, the team prepared to recover the vehicle this morning. The recovery was smooth despite a slightly ‘lumpy’ sea and the team is pleased with the data that the vehicle has collected.
|Lifting the depressor weight|
|A perfect recovery for TOBI2|
The team also worked on the sea gliders today. Sea gliders are ‘buoyancy driven vehicles’, and they differ from most airborne gliders because they need an engine as rising ocean currents are generally too weak to lift them to the surface. Sea gliders are an effective tool for gathering data and the team can direct where they travel over a two-way satellite communications (Iridium) link. Gliders use little energy so are economical to operate.
|P.I. Robin Plumley, Steve Smith and Mark Maltby|
|Coprolite almost ready to go!|
The NOC glider called Coprolite is being prepared for launch and the team is also preparing to recover glider ‘194’ and Bellamite. All three were deployed in June 2012 from the RRS Discovery; Coprolite had to be recovered early. The gliders are part of the FASTNEt project which aims to quantify the exchange of water between the shallow shelf seas and the deep ocean.
|Coprolite is launched!|
The gliders have been operating over or close to the steep continental slope that separates shallow and deep water regions. The team are keen to understand how the exchange processes vary as the seasons change. When Coprolite is recovered at the end of September two Seagliders from the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) will take over and continue the measurements until January next year. The team we have a set of measurements from early summer all the way through to winter.
The FASTNEt project: ttp://www.sams.ac.uk/fastnet/