Category: silbo (page 2 of 22)

Across the 40

90 days into its mission, Silbo is continuing to fly like a champ, averaging 37km/day!

Looking at the models, Copernicus continues to match the currents reported by the glider nearly perfectly, showing a flow to the northwest as we enter the western edge of a small warm eddy while the RTOFS and HYCOM models show a flow to the south east.

Copernicus forecast 7/12/2016

Copernicus forecast 7/12/2016

HYCOM Forecast 7/12/2016

HYCOM Forecast 7/12/2016

RTOFS forecast 7/12/2016

RTOFS forecast 7/12/2016

To further take advantage of the currents reported by Copernicus and verified by the glider’s calculations, at the next surfacing, Silbo will pick up a new way point which was set 100km north of the current point, at 44˚30N 37˚W

newsilbowp

We hope this way point will allow us to take the northern route outlined in the image above as we try and make our way further to the North East towards Europe and the United Kingdom.

Force Wind Sea & Honor

Catching the Northern Route

Since last week, Silbo has rounded the center of the large eddy we were navigating and has serpentined along with the current up to the Northern branch of the Gulf Stream.

Silbos track on the North Atlantic Crossing

Silbos track on the North Atlantic Crossing

To make things even better as Silbo continues to fly over 40km / day, the roadmaps we are using for navigation all seem to be agreeing quite well as shown in the following images of the Copernicus, HYCOM and RTOFS model outputs respectively.

Copernicus June 21

Copernicus June 21

HYCOM June 21

HYCOM June 21

RTOFS June 21

RTOFS June 21

For now, as Silbo starts heading back in to the meat of the Gulf Stream, we will continue to fly to the North East, keeping the way point where it is throughout the remainder of the week.   As the stream carries the glider to the North, we will eventually want to cut across the branch of the stream as we will then need to continue a North East trajectory as we aim for northern Europe.

Force Wind Sea & Honor

Clearing Newfoundland

Now 60 days into its crossing of the North Atlantic, Silbo has made it further than the eastern shores of Newfoundland and is now due south of Greenland.

newfoundland

As we continue to follow the gulf stream out past the reaches of the continental shelf, the jet begins to diverge revealing paths to the north and south which are nicely depicted in our ocean forecasts for the day

RTOFS June 13

RTOFS June 13

OSCAR June 11

OSCAR June 11

HYCOM June 13

HYCOM June 13

Copernicus June 13

Copernicus June 13

With this afternoon’s surfacing we moved the way point to the north east as we aim to catch the the jet the jet that shoots off to the north east as we try to make our way towards Northern Europe.

Force Wind Sea & Honor

 

North vs South

With Silbo closing in on the center of the next main eddy, the team has started looking further in to whether to go north to Iceland/Ireland/Europe or South to the Canaries.

nvs

The general consensus is that we want to continue to the north towards the United Kingdom and so as the glider approaches the eddy, we will hold the current way point until passing to the other side of the core where we will then move the way point to 41˚42N 50˚00W and potentially switch on the thruster to make sure we exit to the north eastern sector of the eddy.

Copernicus June 10

Copernicus June 10

Force Wind Sea & Honor

Dont try and fix what’s not broken

As Silbo continues to surf the Gulf Stream, the glider is looking like its put the pedal to the metal as the km/day seems to climb further with each passing day.   The latest numbers are showing the glider reaching speeds of .72m/s or over 60 km/day!

Today the glider has reached the top of the warm core eddy and will over the next days follow its flow as the gulf stream then meanders south around a counter clockwise spinning cold core eddy.

Copernicus June 8th

Copernicus June 8th

For now the way point seems to be doing well, although with the speeds we are seeing we will need to push the way point further out over the next couple of days

Force Wind Sea & Honor

 

Jumping out of the water

Since moving the way point to the south east in order to keep the gliders progress in to the Gulf Stream, Silbo has taken off accelerating from 15 to over 50 km/day!

silbo_Speed

When the way point was set a week ago, the current had shifted to the point of being due west as Silbo made his way through the eddy solar system discussed in the previous post.  With the change in heading, Silbo ended up making a small loop before catching the eastward flow of the Gulf Stream again propelling the glider forward at the new break neck speeds.

Looking to the various road maps, this week Copernicus and OSCAR are mirroring the glider reported currents.

silboCopernicus603

Copernicus June 3rd

 

silboOSCAR603

OSCAR June 3rd

 

In today’s ROTFS and HYCOM visualizations, it is showing the glider has left the branch of the gulf stream and should be seeing the effects of the northern edge of a cold core eddy.

silboRTOFS603

RTOFS June 3rd

 

silboHYCOM603

HYCOM June 3rd

 

Force Wind Sea & Honor

Lagrangian Structure of the MAB

Over the past week, Silbo has been riding the northern edge of a warm core eddy as we make our way through an eddy solar system sitting on the edge of the Gulf Stream and continuing to make progress away from the Eastern Seaboard and further into the open ocean.

lagrangianskeletons_Page_1

As seen in the image above, the trough of a large meander of the stream has been encompassed by warm eddies, creating an eddy solar system with a cold core eddy at its center. However now at the end of what the warm eddy was providing us, Silbo is now seeing a shift in the direction of the currents and so it is time to change the way point.

silbomay25

Antonio gave us a new way point to the south east that will be applied over the next day or so that will then get Silbo deeper into the Gulf Stream as we begin to see it dip back down to the south east.

Force Wind Sea & Honor

Entering the Gulf Stream

After over two weeks of unfavorable currents as Silbo fought its way across the shelf, this past weekend we struck gold by finally breaking into the gulf stream.

The Gulf Stream which moves on average at a speed of roughly 6.4km/hr picked up Silbo and launched him bringing the progress up from 10km/day to over 40!

silbo_Speed

Looking to the currents, both the Copernicus and ROTFS models show the strong serpentining current where Silbo is moving south west along its northern slope.

Copernicus 5/17

Copernicus 5/17

However, there is a discrepancy in the models where it appears an eddy has pinched off along the gulf stream.  In Copernicus, the eddy looks like it is more to the north of the glider and so wont pose much of a threat to our eastward progress while in RTOFS it appears more to our south meaning if Silbo continues along the current path we will see the currents swing around and push back towards the west

RTOFS 5/17

RTOFS 5/17

As we see the current continue to evolve over the next few days the discussion will continue on where we will take this glider on its North Atlantic Crossing.

silboOptions

Force Winds Sea & Honor

Silbo Update Friday 13th

After crossing the shelf and entering open water last week, Silbo managed to make steady progress eastward while feeling the effects of a consistent push to the west towards shore.  This westward current however cut Silbos speed in half from 30+ km a day  to ~15.  The model visualizations below show a representation of the area:

0513silbocope

Copernicus Forecast May 13

In the Copernicus forecast, it appears that Silbo is in the midst of a filament breaking off of the northern wall of the gulf stream to become a small warm core eddy.  However the currents reported by Silbo say the flow is in the opposite direction as shown in the american models below.

0513silbooscar

Oscar Forecast May 12

In the Oscar output about and the ROTFS Forecast below, both visualizations are showing a cold core eddy breaking off of the large jet producing the westward current being reported by Silbo.

0513silbortofs

RTOFS Forecast May 13

In an attempt to break free of this current, Ben is issuing a new waypoint to the south that will help steer the glider free of the head current and into the Gulf Stream

Force Wind Sea & Honor

 

The Return of Silbo

After a two and a half year hiatus, Silbo, the first glider of the Challenger Glider Mission is back in the water!

Deployed at noon on April 13 2016 right off of Cape Cod Massachusetts , the glider spent roughly a week flying a low angle thruster mission through the shallow waters of the Georges Basin along the shelf.  Then Silbo made its way along the Fundian Valley before entering the deep water of the North Atlantic on the evening of April 26th.

SILBO 3 PATHS USA IRELAND ICELAND

Now off of the shelf and heading East, the team is discussing the end point for the mission.  The overall goal is to complete another crossing of the North Atlantic, however where we want to set the finish line is still up in the air.  In 2009 the Scarlet Knight, a 200m glider crossed from New Jersey to Northern Spain.

The potential plans as proposed by Ben Allsup (TWR) are as follows:

Scenario 1: Falmouth, United Kingdom – 4400km in deep water, 320km along the shelf.  This scenario would be interesting as Silbo was deployed from the town of Falmouth Massachusetts and would be nice to connect the two cities.

Scenario 2: Galway , Ireland – 4300km deep water, 100 km on the shelf.  This choice would include a partnership with our friends at the Marine Institute in Galway.

Scenario 3: Canaries – 4500km deep water, 10km on shelf. This brings Silbo back to where he made land fall in the summer of 2012 after deployment from Iceland and reunites him with Antonio at ULPGC and the friends at PLOCAN.

Scenario 4: West Coast of Norway – 5512km deep water, 80km shelf and shallow area around the Faroe Islands.  This would be the most difficult path and is mot unlikely.

Scenario 5: Iceland – 4200km deep 85km along shelf.  This route returns Silbo from his initial deployment location from June 2011, however the consensus seems to be that Iceland doesnt feel far enough across the ocean for it to be a full crossing.

Scenario 6: Mallorca – 5700km deep, 50km on shelf.  This is the pie in the sky route which involves the very tricky passage through the Straight of Gibraltar.

Force Wind Sea & Honor

Older posts Newer posts