So since Challenger’s inspection off the coast of St Helena on the 31, she has continued on her mission to Ascension, but not without first running into a few more complications.
A day after the inspection, Challenger aborted due to an issue with the digifin saying the fin was stuck hard over to one side and was unable to move it.
After some work, Dave Aragon was able to kick the fin back into operation and get her back to flying again. However, the celebrations would not last long as the fin then managed to get stuck once again on the 4th leaving us to drift at the surface for just over a day into Tuesday as a collaborative effort between Rutgers and Teledyne Webb worked to get Challenger flying again. But after a long day of testing and analyzing data, the team was once again able to pull through and get the glider flying and on her way.
Now the currents from both the glider and ocean models are showing a strong flux to the north which can also be seen in the mere speeds we are reaching now with our new clean glider: consistently > 25 km! Hopefully these currents will persist in the coming days as we continue to push onwards to Ascension.
Force Wind Sea & Honor