The technicians at Rutgers contacted the gliders via satellite and programed them with GPS coordinates relative to the location of the LMG. It’s a tricky process. The team needed to make sure that two of the gliders coming from two different directions met and then surface at the right time.
|Rutgers professor Oscar Schofield spots the glider (Credit: Dena Seidel)|
Once we got those coordiantes, we launched the zodiac from the LMG. Dr. Oscar Schofield spotted the first glider and managed to catch it on our first try. After he pulled it into our Zodiac, I helped to steady the glider while he removed the wings and then stowed the glider in the bottom of the boat, making sure to be careful with the scientific instruments attached to the sides.
|CTD instrument on the side of the glider (Credit: Jo Blasi/Palmer LTER)|
After stowing the first glider away safely, it was a race to find the other one. The crew at Rutgers did an amazing job, getting the gliders to surface only 900 feet apart from each other within a 5-minute timeframe. Simply amazing!
Soon enough, both gliders were aboard the small Zodiac, and we headed back to the LMG. Once onboard the LMG, the gliders were turned off by satellite by the Rutgers crew and then safely tied to the ship to prevent them from being bounced around.
|Gliders tied down to the LMG, waiting to be packed away (Credit: Jo Blasi/Palmer LTER)|
|Glider photo op! (Credit: Dena Seidel)|
Once we reach Palmer Station, the gliders get safely packed in their travelling cases and then shipped back to Rutgers. At that point it’s up to the researchers to analyze the data to figure out what the gliders managed to find during their six-week adventure along the Western Antarctic Peninsula!
|Glider ready to be stowed away (Credit: Jo Blasi/Palmer LTER)|
|Happy retrieval crew heads for home (Credit: Zach Swaim)|
All of Jo's entries are cross posted on the Palmer Long Term Ecological Research Station site here. Track her progress on the R/V Gould, and learn more about the Palmer Long Term Ecological Research Station. Meet some researchers and explore the station with our archived Google+ Hangout with Palmer!