On Feb 5th AOML deployed their two underwater gliders in the Caribbean Sea south of Puerto Rico on their 2nd mission. This was performed from the R/V La Sultana of the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez.
These deployments bring both gliders into the Caribbean Sea to assess the upper ocean dynamics and thermal conditions in this region of the Western Hemisphere Warm Pool. The deployment involved two teams working in unison to complete a successful deployment, one team in the field and one team on land piloting. Grant Rawson of AOML/CIMAS worked with Julio Morell and Luis Pomales of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez to conduct the field operations. Francis Bringas of PhOD led the piloting team, which consisted of Walter McCall at NOAA/NDBC, Gustavo Goni of AOML, and Ricardo Domingues of AOML/CIMAS. The gliders were successfully launched and the data collected was made available on the AOML Glider webpage in real-time. After the first few test dives the Pilot team noticed odd readings from the newly installed oxygen sensors. After further investigation it was determined that the gliders needed a firmware update from the manufacturer in order to transmit the correct oxygen data back to land. After receiving the updated firmware from the manufacturer the field team returned to the deployment zone to recover and update the gliders. The update took place at sea and after a few hours of updating and testing the glider were re-deployed in the study area to resume their mission. This mission is expected to last 4-5 months and collect over 3000 temperature, salinity, and oxygen profiles to 1000m in the area. The new mission added a dissolved oxygen sensor and an Argo tag, which will be used if an emergency recovery of the gliders is needed. This project is lead by Gustavo Goni at AOML and it is supported by Sandy Supplemental funds. More information about the AOML glider operations can be found at: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/goos/gliders/observations.php