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 The seismicity of Mars
25.02.2020 | ETH Zurich

nachricht Major wind-driven ocean currents are shifting toward the poles
25.02.2020 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: High-pressure scientists in Bayreuth discover promising material for information technology

Researchers at the University of Bayreuth have discovered an unusual material: When cooled down to two degrees Celsius, its crystal structure and electronic properties change abruptly and significantly. In this new state, the distances between iron atoms can be tailored with the help of light beams. This opens up intriguing possibilities for application in the field of information technology. The scientists have presented their discovery in the journal "Angewandte Chemie - International Edition". The new findings are the result of close cooperation with partnering facilities in Augsburg, Dresden, Hamburg, and Moscow.

The material is an unusual form of iron oxide with the formula Fe₅O₆. The researchers produced it at a pressure of 15 gigapascals in a high-pressure laboratory...

Im Focus: From China to the South Pole: Joining forces to solve the neutrino mass puzzle

Study by Mainz physicists indicates that the next generation of neutrino experiments may well find the answer to one of the most pressing issues in neutrino physics

Among the most exciting challenges in modern physics is the identification of the neutrino mass ordering. Physicists from the Cluster of Excellence PRISMA+ at...

Im Focus: Therapies without drugs

Fraunhofer researchers are investigating the potential of microimplants to stimulate nerve cells and treat chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. Find out what makes this form of treatment so appealing and which challenges the researchers still have to master.

A study by the Robert Koch Institute has found that one in four women will suffer from weak bladders at some point in their lives. Treatments of this condition...

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists 'film' a quantum measurement

26.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Melting properties determine the biological functions of the cuticular hydrocarbon layer of ants

26.02.2020 | Interdisciplinary Research

Lights, camera, action... the super-fast world of droplet dynamics

26.02.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>