Friday, April 16, 2010

Expedition to Norway delayed

The 2010 ICEX program team was scheduled to depart for Norway on April 16th. However, like millions of would-be travelers throughout the world, our travel plans have been thrown into chaos as a result of the volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland, which has sent a giant ash plume over Northern Europe, closed public air travel and grounded flights to and from four U.S. military bases. Even Norway's Prime Minister, Jens Stotlenberg, is stranded in New York city (NY Daily News story).

As of this morning, our transatlantic airline, Continental, has extended their travel advisory to Monday April 19th Thursday April 22. You can follow breaking developments related to the impact of the ash plume at The Guardian's volcanic ash blog. We will provide updates here as we learn more about our options for rescheduling our trip and participation in the third NORUS workshop.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Technical Training, Spring Break Day 2

We made it out to the pier on the second day of Spring Break so that Alex and Jessie could run some longer missions with the Iver. The conditions were great, minimal wind and fairly warm, the only minor issue was the low tide.

In order to go down on the lower docks to launch the Iver, some safety precautions had to be taken. Although Alex was a little concerned his fashion statement, he and Jessie made it down to launch the Iver and successfully complete a few missions.

After ocean operations with the Iver were completed, another challenge was faced by the team: getting it out! Someone with long arms was needed to reach down and retrieve the Iver from the low tide. Kevin was called down and with a bit of additional help from Dr. Clark, as well as somefinesse driving from Alex, the Iver made it safely out of the water.

On the image processing side of things, Frank, Kevin and myself mostly spent the day inside working on a variety of projects with OpenCV, but we were making some great progress.

Later in the day, however, I focused my efforts on repairing a broken light module on the crawler robot. Thanks to some silicone, solder, and electrical tape (applied later) a temporary solution was found. Luckily, a new light module that will enable stronger electrical connections is on the way.

Check out a gallery of photos from the entire day here: