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Tangaroa Blog #5 More deployments

12 months ago by Kate Boersen

US instruments with the NZ deployment team Medium

It was a bit difficult getting to sleep last night with all the noise being created by the midnight to noon shift deploying the first of the US instruments off the coast near Mahia.

This meant it was a little bit harder getting up early this morning to watch the America’s Cup race but it was definitely worth it!!!

This morning (like ever other morning) most of the crew and science staff watched the America’s Cup in the longue via the satellite TV. The races are recorded for those that are on the midnight to noon shift who are busy working.

It looks like we’re ahead of schedule at this point but it’s difficult to say for sure as we’re reliant on this good weather continuing. Today, we’ll hopefully finish off the rest of the instrument deployments.

Each of US instruments takes about two hours to deploy. The instruments are being deployed in water depths of up to 3km so it takes about 40 minutes for them to sink to the seafloor.

The ship then has to move out to .5 times the weather depth to then survey the instruments position and then does a circle around the instrument while moving at a speed of around five knots.

While the ship is circling, up on the bridge, a message is sent to the instrument every minute and with the data that comes back, the scientists can pinpoint its precise location on the seafloor.

This method is slightly different to that of the Japanese. The Japanese scientists use a triangulation method to locate their instruments.

This involves throwing a transponder off the ship at three different points and waiting for the instrument to reply before hauling the transponder in and going to the next triangulation point.

We managed to do one point late this evening before the next shift took over at midnight.