Monday, February 12, 2007

Glider Bob

Today I volunteered to go out on the Elakha (COAS research vessel) to retrieve our autonomous glider named Bob.  Let me first tell you a little bit about the Glider and provide a link :)   

The glider is a torpedo shaped research instrument that travels around the ocean due to changes in it's bouyancy.  A bladder inside of the $100,000 instrument fills with air and brings it to the surface and then deflates so that it can sink into the water column.  By attaching wings that are angled it also is movedGlider_bob_21307_008
forward by this sinking, rising motion.  It has a range of several thousand km but right now OSU is using it just off the coast of Oregon.  It has sensors on it that measure temperature, salinty, oxygen content, water pressure, and it's path indicates current direction.  When it is at the surface it recieves a gps fix which then directs it back onto path, although a strong current can often carry it well off it's intended path.  In fact when we picked it up a current had dragged it 7 miles to the north of where it should have ended up :)

It was an early morning trip out with Tristan and Anatoli to pick it up in calm seas.  I think it was 7ft swells over a 10 second period if I remember right.  I was able to hook it with a gaff on board and then they hauled it on board the ship.  Everything went smoothly and I was back on campus by noon.  It was really great to finally get out on our research vessel and on the Pacific for the first time. 


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