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
Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
Modeling magma to find copper
13.01.2017 | Université de Genève
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.01.2017 | Information Technology
18.01.2017 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation