OCS Saildrone Mission Blog - TPOS Mission 3
This mission is supported by NOAA GOMO (formerly OOMD), NOAA OMAO, and Saildrone, Inc.
Four Saildrones were launched from Hawaii on June 8, 2019, initiating a six-month research mission in the tropical Pacific Ocean. This is the third mission of a series intended to test Saildrones in the Tropical Pacific Observing System (TPOS).
June 24, 2019
Saildrone science vehicle 1066 in transit to the Penguin Bank. Photo credit: Saildrone, Inc.
As a pilot study of the Tropical Pacific Observing System 2020 Project (http://tpos2020.org), four Saildrone science vehicles were launched from Hawaii on June 8, 2019 to begin a six-month research mission to study air-sea interaction in the central equatorial Pacific Ocean.
This is the third mission in a three-part series of planned Saildrone missions to the tropical Pacific to study specific targeted phenomena for different phases of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle. Mission 1 (September 2017 – May 2018) occurred during the “Recharge” phase of ENSO, where the cold tongue was developed. Mission 2 (October – December 2018) occurred during the beginning of the “Discharge” phase of ENSO, where warm tropical sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies developed in the Central and Eastern Pacific. On this Mission 3, the Saildrones will likely capture the end of the “Discharge” phase of ENSO, when the warm tropical water is spread to its easternmost extent.
Saildrones are unmanned surface vehicles (USV) developed by Saildrone, Inc. and NOAA/PMEL that use wind and solar energy to transit the ocean and power a variety of mounted scientific instruments. Saildrone measurements during this mission will be used to investigate exchanges of heat and carbon dioxide between the ocean and atmosphere associated with ENSO and other processes that affect SST anomalies in the tropics. With the cluster of four Saildrones, we will better understand the horizontal scales of variability affecting these air-sea interaction processes. Ultimately, through these missions, we hope to learn how Saildrone may best be utilized within the Tropical Pacific Observing System.
Please stay tuned for more updates on this third mission as the four Saildrones journey through the tropical Pacific Ocean!
This blog page is maintained by Nathan Anderson.