Sunday, July 16, 2006

Where the winds sleep

These pages are dedicated to the Tiburon pilots, an elite group of incredibly skilled and dedicated individuals, the true heroes of this deployment.

Pilot Knute with his friend; he likes to dress her up on special occassions, and swears she can talk. Knute's been at sea for a long time. Incredibly skilled and dedicated? You bet. Well-adjusted? Not really.

Three hours after the elevator is dropped, Tiburon closes in on the elevator and its payload resting on the sea floor

Tiburon moves in with her robotic arm to remove the BIN from the elevator

Tiburon carries the BIN to the science frame, 50 meters away.

The BIN and its instruments installed on the frame, ready to begin acquiring science data.

In sand-strewn caverns cool and deep,

where the winds are all asleep

Yeah, it is “cool” down there at 4000 meters – about 1 degree Centigrade. But we don’t expect the “winds” to be asleep; we hope the instruments on the BIN will capture one of the “turbidity flows” that periodically roar down the Canyon.

Tiburon returns to the now-vacant elevator; the ROV pilot used the manipulator arm to loosen a knot that secured 50 kilograms of steel to the elevator - the suddenly-buoyant elevator then "rockets" to the surface, for recovery by the Western Flyer. One last tug on the line... that's got it!


The next morning, we turned on the system power via radio modem aboard the Western Flyer, and data from the deep sea began flowing back to shore!


Anonymous hippobean said...

incredible underwater pictures ... water digital camera or did you just wrap it in a ziplock?

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Blogger tomoreilly said...

Just sprayed it with Scotchguard. Just kidding of course - these are frame grabs from Tiburon's Sony HD camera.

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