With roughly 10 tons of equipment divided between the two ships we are using for LASER, it took over two days to load everything onto 1) the R/V Walton Smith and 2) the shipping containers headed for the Masco8 (Key West). The scientific team, the ship crews, and the University of Miami marine operations department have been working non-stop to ensure that all of the gear is on board and in working order.
What are we bringing with us?
10,000 drift cards
1,000 GPS-equipped, biodegradable drifters
50 Surface Velocity Program drifters
2 Wave gliders
2 Lagrangian floats, capable of making fully 3D motion.
1 aerostat (large, stable balloon for aerial photography of drift card distribution)
1 MVP, which is a towed CTD for a quick estimate of temperature and salinity in the upper ocean.
1 Marine radar
Multiple anemometers and various sensors for air-sea interaction measurements
And much much more!!
All of this gear will be used to measure the ocean currents in the Gulf of Mexico, just in different ways. We hope to collect as much data as possible over the next few months, in order to make existing computer models better at predicting the fate of oil or other pollutants released into the ocean.