Friday, April 25, 2008

Flight Tests

We just completed a work week's worth of flight tests on RU15 while coming in along the Halifax line. Some watching closely will noticed that we slowed down a bit midweek, even though currents were slow. We were testing the buoyancy pump. Instead of pushing and pulling a full cup of water, we tried smaller changes in buoyancy to see how the energy savings would effect our flight characteristitics. Pulling in less water slows the glider and saves energy on the pump, but then it takes extra time to get somewhere so you burn energy just keeping the lights on. The tests will help us optimize the settings for long duration flight. We are now back up to full speed.

The deep basin off Halifax turned out to be an excellent test bed. Water over 100 m deep that is so close to shore. So we took advantage of the natural topography on the way in.

We are now half way between HL3 and HL2. We moved the HL2 waypoint a bit to the northeast so that it is in between the shipping lanes.
RU15 is now set to just bounce back and forth between the point between the shipping lanes and HL3. We'll keep this pattern going for several days.
We'll keep one eye on the battery and the other on the weather. Scott & Marlon have all the equipment for recovery and a boat ready when its needed.

Currents are small. We need to line up that strong current jet to the northeast with some of the features in the temperature and salinity sections below.

Temperature section inbound on the Halifax line. Three layers. We really like the deepwater test bed we found on the way in.



And Salinity. The surface is freshening.


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