Now at sea for just over a week, Challenger is continuing to fly strong as ever. Just over 250km into the roughly 6000 km mission, the glider has been covering between 27-35 km/day while using a minimalist 2.16 amp hours/day. At this rate, we should be able to squeeze about 350 days out of the battery packs as 29 weaves her way across the South Atlantic.
With this afternoons surfacing, Challenger popped up roughly 5 km from Brazil’s exclusive economic zone, so early tomorrow when she next surfaces, 29 will once again be in international waters; the first of many mile stones for the new trans-atlantic mission.
For the past few days, 29 has been riding a nice tail current as she made her way down the eastern edge of a cold core eddy. However looking at the latest surfacings, the currents reported by the gliders calculations have been showing the slowing of the tail current as we pass off from one eddy to the next as seen in the image above of the Copernicus forecasted currents for 300m depth. In order to change the angle Challenger is flying at to catch the more favorable currents eastward, I moved the waypoint a few degrees to the north. With this adjusted flight path, she will now take a more favorable path to the north of the cold eddy to the east as we fly over the seamounts that lie ahead. Below is a path we hope to fly outlined in red as Challenger snakes her way through the terrain.
Force Wind Sea & Honor