Progress in integration and a recovery

07 Jul 2015
Heading out of the harbor to test an LAUV, João Tasso and Bruno on a Maritime Police RHIB.
João Pereira jury rigging a communication antenna on the Horta harbor's entrance communication tower.
Finally at sea..João on a Maritime Police RHIB just outside Horta harbor deploying an LAUV.
João and Bruno getting ready to deploy an LAUV in the channel. Pico in the background. View from the Horta harbor entrance tower.
Oh...and did we tell you Steve Job's yacht also wanted to join in REP?? Truly, the vessel happened to be in Horta harbor.
Horta's famous graffiti from all the sailors passing thru over the years.
Views of Horta harbor on the road to Cedros.
Images of Faial on the way to Cedros.
If its sunny, pastoral and sublime, it must be....the NTNU UAV team operating their vehicle from a cow pasture!
Frederik Leira of NTNU in the process of launching an X8 from its catapult.
The FEUP and NTNU teams closely following the flight of their vehicles in Cedros.
The lush tropical paradise that the UAV calls its launch and test field.
And yes, they work (and hard) on occasion. Maria Costa of FEUP hunched over her Neptus console on the back of a pick up.
Tracking UAVs in the air in software and with eyeballs.
Frederik posing with the NTNU pan-tilt unit for communicating with the X8 UAV.
Kkrzysztof Cisek of NTNU operating the X8 from a Neptus console.
NTNU X8 on final approach.
Ditto a FEUP vehicle....

Today was a good and active day for all. The team broke up into 3-4 parts doing things asynchronously. The morning found the UAV team from FEUP and NTNU heading out to Cedros where they found a placid field (sans the cows) to test their vehicles. The machines (and people) in spite of the high humidity and heat, fared well. What didn't was the constant moo-ing (no kidding) of cows who were not happy with the X8s buzzing them over their field. After all this was and had been nominally their land....The UAV teams spent the entire day working out the kinks; by late afternoon the NTNU group felt satisfied with their vehicle's performance and were slowly gathering the courage to start flying a similar vehicle with the two (precious) payloads of a gimbaled IR camera and a hyper-spectral imager, first over land, and then over water nearby. The FEUP X8 needed a GPS calibration,verified when Manuel Ribeiro took the GPS unit from the X8 on arrival at the lab, and inserted it and flew the small quadcopter he brought along.

Mid-afternoon also saw João moving just off the mouth of the harbor to test an LAUVs control parameters which hadn't been saved from a previous experiment. Better still, Paulo Dias and Manuel Ribeiro took off to Pico (courtesy of DOPs Águas Vivas Rodman cruise boat). This was in effect, the first step to do some real 'work' and generate science data, which this team returned without a hitch. Jorge Fontes was shown the data and suggested some modifications to the mission plan for day 3 tomorrow. And he made it clear that multi-beam bathymetry data such as what was obtained was precisely what he was looking for. Now onto a slightly longer transect along the south shore of Pico island (across from Horta where we all were) for his need for habitat mapping. 

The late afternoon also saw Mike and Scot managing to get their Ivers into the water in nearby Porto Pim, a sheltered bay south of the harbor. And folks on the Gago Coutinho (which was clearly visible from the top of the hill just outside Horta) in the Faial-Pico channel were no doubt hard at work at their physical oceanography experiments. No word from them, just yet.

Alex meanwhile continued to grind away at his HOLO camera and we're told making progress. We're all looking forward to seeing the high-res 3D images of those micro-organisms from Pico. But first tomorrow (Wed 8th) we need to reintegrate the imager into an Xplore LAUV and check for leaks and buoyancy in the harbor!

We also have a visitor. From Sweden. Ivan Stenius joins us from KTH, primarily to observe the choreography between man and machine and nature, we've started to engage in.