After a day of counting zooplankton in microscopes, the technology students were looking forward to doing AUV surveys in Kongsfjorden outside Ny-Ålesund. Unfortunately, bad weather prevented running the AUV mission, so an alternative ROV training operation was performed inside the harbour basin.
The day started with planning security issues we carefully checked that the ROV was in good shape and good to go. That last part did take some time since there is a lot of cables o think about, and to many hands wanting to plug them, perhaps we were too enthusiastic.
After an hour the vehicle was packed and off to the pier we went. Weather conditions were not the best, but moral and enthusiasm remained high, even after another long round of plugging cables.
The ROV was finally deployed at 15:18 UTC time, we experienced some power problems that where easily fixed. The sea was rough, and our driving was not all that good, thus we are not bothering putting any videos in here. Everybody in our group to drive the vehicle. As every inexperienced pilots we entangled the engine in sea weed which meant that our fun mission was over.
Not much actual research was done during the day, but the experience and the learning outcome were amazing.
Light day for our group, even though it was nowhere to be seen. The all sky camera was retrieved, and the pictures from previous days downloaded. The weather forecast was not very good thus we stayed inside analyzing pictures. After a few shuts it was evident that light pollution influenced our measurements , especially when the sky was covered. After taking a group picture the all sky camera was put back into position for another day of measurements.
At the end of the day we took inside the E-PAR sensor, which had been left on land to take some measurements, and prove the theory that it might be sensitive to the cold. As expected it had shut down after a few hours outside. On the bright side, we discovered with the few measurements it took , that the prototype is not as sensitive as we first expected it to be. Again not much data was retrieved, but a lot new information for our student brains.
Text: Stefan Vilsen, and Stephanie Liefmann.