Day 3 of the experiment started benignly, with Paulo Dias heading off to Pico island to continue bathymetric surveys along the south coast for habitat mapping. On the way he and Bruno encountered the Gago Coutinho in the channel. Compass calibration of the vehicle continued to plague this vehicle and on return Paulo was not too happy with the results. The results of the transect were shown to Jorge Fontes and next steps to getting it 'right' are still being worked.
Meanwhile the UAV teams from FEUP and NTNU started early back north in Cedros. The FEUP X8 which was had a malfunction in its GPS hardware, now replaced, flew well. So well that the FEUP team, now joined by Ricardo Joel who had flown in that morning from Porto, decided to head home early for lunch. NTNU continued field operations, now flying their precious science payload, and over land. On returning back to the 'lab', it was agreed that they felt comfortable to now gingerly, fly over water. So while the FEUP time hoped to stand down for the day and focus on repairing the vehicle with the hard landing, NTNU would head out to Pico in the ferry and operate there, perhaps flying over Paulo Dias returning to his surveys on DOP's Águas Vivas small vessel.
More good news came from Mike's team operating the Iver. They successfully navigated their way to Frateira on the south coast of Faial, and deployed their vehicle tested the MOOS IvP behaviors for adaptive thermocline detection, sans thermocline. The morning trip showed the vehicle performed well and was stable enough to aim for a Friday coordinated flight with FEUP UAVs.
And to top it, Alex Nimmo Smith's slogging away in his hotel room paid dividends. The HOLO-cam when swabbed clean both at the source and the destination of the laser, showed a clear surface in the lab. João Pereira, Zé Pinto, Frédéric Py and Kanna took the Xplore, dipped it in the harbor to check for buoyancy and in-water tests, and soon the vehicle was off doing simple missions inside the harbor. Post-lunch brought an urgent request to DOP to help with a RHIB; Jorge stepped forward and piloted a small boat and with Kanna's assistance on the boat and Pereira, Zé and Manuel's backup on shore spent 2+ hours in the Pico-Faial channel conducting missions. This was the first open water deployment of the HOLO on an AUV. Returning to the lab, Alex showed Jorge and Kanna clear images of diatom chains from the channel.
If the weather cooperates, we hope to split the team again between Pico and Faial and continue testing on Thursday the 9th. But today with the tight focus, the efforts went very well. All were exhausted and pleased.