Scale-Model Drifter Tests
Physical labs are great venues for instrument development and testing since the conditions are controlled and repeatable. We’ve been working for some time on developing a surface Lagrangian drifter for use in various types of field experiments.
This work has been spear-headed by the CARTHE research group, based here at RSMAS, with Cedric from our lab being one of the foremost developers. Dr. Guillaume Novelli, of CARTHE and RSMAS, is also a lead investigator on this project. While Cedric, and a couple of summer interns, were hard at work testing out this scaled-down model of the drifter prototype in ASIST (our smaller wind-wave-current flume), I was messing around with my camera.
The person in the background is one of our undergraduate interns, stylishly holding his drifter-wrangling staff. Incidentally, his shirt is responsible for the Purple Rain filter tinting the image. The drifter is following a low amplitude, 1.25 Hz monochromatic wave generated by the ASIST paddle.
Here is a dancing drifter.
The drifter research and development continues in our SUSTAIN facility with the goal for the operational prototype to be a bio-degradable, GPS-equipped surface drifter capable of surviving oceanic deployments for several weeks to months.