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HRP 2014: Drifter Project

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Chris LeBoa

on 28 July 2014

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Transcript of HRP 2014: Drifter Project

Engineering Ocean Drifters
The Challenge:
- Build 4 drifters
- Improve previous designs
- Research currents of the Caribbean Sea
- Deploy drifters
- Track GPS feeds

Background on Drifters
Old technique
Bottles in 60's
Surface vs. Drogue

HRP 2014: Drifter Project

Surface Drifter
Russell Davis
CODE experiment
Shallow currents

Underwater Drogue
Drifters Show...
Currents, gyres, eddies
Compare to models

track deeper currents
Professional Drifters
$1500 to $3000
Last 400 days
Temperature probes; GPS trackers
~1250 drifters maintained
New designs every year
Cheaper, research-worthy drifters
Woods Hole Drifters
Information courtesy of CARTHE
Mesoamerican Reef Surface Drifter

Recycled lobster buoy with GPS tracker mounted vertically on side
No wooden platform (reduce air resistance)
Sailcloth for underwater sails
Recycled lobster buoy on Aluminum pole
2 leaf bags anchor shackled together at end of steel cable
GPS tracker on wooden platform above buoy
Nylon line attaches cable to top drifter

Mesoamerican Reef Deep Sea Drogue
Picking Currents
Path of the Drifters
Step 1: Research
Picking Currents
Deployed in major currents
Based on the ship's route and favorable sites
Continuous GPS tracking
Dropped in the Caribbean
Follow Gulf Stream
Current Design Problems
Step 2: Plan
Step 3: Get Materials
Mesoamerican Reef Surface Drifter
Mesoamerican Reef Deep Sea Drogue
Returning Drifters
Windward Passage Surface Drifter
GLAD Project
Windward Passage Deep Sea Drogue
Many Thanks To:
- Sam Garson
- Erin Bilbo
- Allison Fundis
- UK sail makers

Step 2: Plan
Step 4: Build
- Understand pollutant dispersion
- 317 drifters
- Over 5 million data points
CARTHE. "5 Million Data Points and Counting." c
Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment, 2013. Web. 25 July 2014.
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