Paulo Relvas, Univ. of Algarve, gives us all a fascinating lecture about the physical forcings in the inner shelf off of the Algarve.
15 May 2014

Mounting worries and a lecture in Physical Oceanography of the Algarve

More twitching of thumbs and twitching of fingers as the Diplodus with new parts was still not operational. And with no clear trajectory out of this situation, the day was full of telephone calls from João Tasso and João Pereira. "Please, do you have a XXX type boat".

An informal talk about modeling for our region of operation with Winds, currents, bathymetry, temperature and chlorophyll courtesy of data from Portugal and Spain.
14 May 2014

A weekend during the week

Wednesday and still no news on when the Diplodus would be up and running. Just that a critical part would arrive. Tomorrow.

Onboard the NRP Argos after recovering the Xplore-1 from 2.5 surveys of an ARGOS tagged Mola.
13 May 2014

At last the first AUV survey around a Mola! and the hunt for a coastal UAV launch site

Finally, we got to go after one of our prized experiment goals. On Tuesday 13th, courtesy of the Portuguese Navy, we not only went out to sea, but also tracked the first set of Mola's with our AUVs.

Joao and Kanna with the tagged styrofoam Mola swimming off the coast of Vila Real de Santo Antonio and being tracked by an X8 at 100m.
12 May 2014

Tracking swimming PIs, first tag & release and Marinha to the rescue

With the R/V Diplodus, our ostensible ship, out of commision, one would have thought Monday, the original start date of the experiment, would be a little slow. Apparently not.

A working Sunday for all. People gathered around pitching in to build FEUP designed ARGOS tags with a tether. From left: Filipe, Renato, Jorge Fontes, Nuno, João, Fortuna and Ana Couto.
11 May 2014

A working sunday

Sunday was not precisely a day of 'rest'. Just slightly slower paced with the meticulous tag making process consuming a lot of man (and woman) hours of the team.

A late afternoon strategy session in progress to figure out all options with the onset of our problems with the R/V Diplodus.
10 May 2014

Strategizing and some down time

Saturday saw us thinking ahead as to what the various options are in working around the problems of the R/V Diplodus. With a late start, a brief strategy session was followed by a quick all-hands to get everyone on the 'same page'.

In getting ready to (finally) fly the UAVs from the Diplodus, space is made on the deck by removing the WaveGlider by the crew. The WG also had to have its electronics box replaced, so having it on shore was critical. The UAV team was excited in finally getting to sea...!
09 May 2014

A big disapointment....

Friday May 9th seemed like another day with the UAV team doing the honors of waking up and leaving the farm house early to get onto the R/V Diplodus to get their shot at claiming readiness on the vessel. But there was a lot of dissapointment in store.....


Joao Tasso transferring the Seacon AUV from the Diplodous prior to launch. Unlike the Xplore1, the Seacon's outer shell and the nose is more sensitive to being dropped from the ship, making its launch/recovery more complex. As an older (but reliable) vehicle this and another Seacon will be our backup to the Xplore even if their onboard battery life is only about 5 hours in comparison to nearly 24 hours for the Xplore.
08 May 2014

Seacon AUV tests @sea and intense UAV ops @farm house

Thursday 8th saw more testing, as before at sea and at the farm house. At sea, the backup Seacon AUV was launched, tested with T-REX and recovered with a complex procedure involving a small spare boat with people in the water.

UAV tests being conducted on farm land next to the house we are staying in. However, there is substantial competition to get to and retrieve a vehicle. Grazing farm animals in particular are showing substantial interest in our experiments.
07 May 2014

More results from sea and air trials, including collaborations with farm animals

Our UAV trials are courtesy of our farm house hosts and their neighbors who have been very gracious in the use of their property.

FEUP researchers Renato Caldas and Zé Pinto talking to the Diplodus crew as we steam out of the Olhão harbor for the first at-sea day. The crew is incredibly flexible,  generous and open. So we're very lucky to be working with them.
06 May 2014

First sea day, more UAV tests and settling in into the farm house

Tuesday was our first big day in the Algarve. Around 7.15am we set sail from Olhão harbor on the R/V Diplodus. This was to be the first time for us to see how operationally we would work together with the crew and amongst ourselves.