Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lost & Found – prototype CO2-measuring drifter recovered from the tropical Atlantic after 7 weeks of silence

14.01.2009
Marine science sometimes has an element of luck and adventure and relies heavily on international cooperation.

Researchers of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR) in Kiel, Germany received a special Christmas gift when their prototype profiling float was located and recovered from the open ocean, far offshore of the West African coast, after seven weeks of radio silence.

The still-experimental NEMO profiling float is designed to monitor CO2 within the ocean and had been deployed in October at an ocean monitoring station close to the Cape Verde Islands (www.tenatso.com). The freely floating robotic instrument records the depth distributions of salinity, temperature, oxygen and CO2 in the upper 200 m of the ocean at 30 hour intervals.

When at the surface the data are transmitted via the Iridium satellite system to the researchers in Kiel. Initially the float had functioned very well. But then after half a dozen dives the instrument stopped transmitting so that the worst – a total loss – was assumed. Maybe it had been destroyed by a fishing boat and sunk.

Maybe its radio antenna had been bitten off by a shark. A few days before Christmas, however, the Kiel group received their unexpected gift when signals from the float were received again. Position: 500 km north of Cape Verde, far away from land.

“We had really given up on it”, said Björn Fiedler of IFM-GEOMAR who is working on the float’s data for his Ph.D. studies. Then everything went very fast. A rescue mission was organized with colleagues of the Cape Verdean partner institute INDP (Instituto Nacional de Desenvolvimento das Pescas) in Mindelo. Fiedler departed for Cape Verde on the day after Christmas and embarked immediately on the INDP’s vessel ISLANDIA whose crew had been brought back from their festivities. The ISLANDIA reached the drifter’s reported location 30 hours later. There it was spotted and could be recovered after a short search. “This was like hitting the jackpot”, the excited Fiedler said. But it turned out even better: despite the interrupted satellite-link the instrument had continued to carry out its measurement routine as planned, and the full set of data had been stored.

The project’s leader, Prof. Arne Körtzinger, was very impressed by the quick action of the Cape Verdean partners: “They organized this mission at very short notice over the public holidays. It is an impressive example of the quality of the research collaboration and the very high motivation of our partner institute INDP on Cape Verde. We are grateful to everyone involved”.

Andreas Villwock | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ifm-geomar.de

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents
12.12.2017 | Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

nachricht How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas
11.12.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A whole-body approach to understanding chemosensory cells

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water without windows: Capturing water vapor inside an electron microscope

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cellular Self-Digestion Process Triggers Autoimmune Disease

13.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>