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The Mystery of the Second Lander

August 27, 2013

Deepwater Canyons

The focus of this cruise was to retrieve four landers we deployed last year in Baltimore and Norfolk Canyons. Two of the landers were from UNCW and two from NIOZ, and they were placed at specific locations so we could collect a year’s worth of data on the physical parameters of the water at the bottom. Currently, three landers are on board. The second lander we tried to recover is still missing, but there is hope.

We communicate with the landers via a  “ping” — a sound sent at a constant frequency. The landers emit pings, which we can find by lowering a hydrophone into the water. We can also send a ping at a different frequency to give instructions to the landers, such as “release your ballast weights.”

On Friday, August 23, we sent a ping down to the first NIOZ lander telling it to release its weight. It popped…

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