NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
July 11 – August 10, 2009
Mission: PIRATA (Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Atlantic)
Geographical area of cruise: Tropical Atlantic
Date: July 14, 2009
Weather Data from the Bridge
Outside Temperature 26.01oC
Relative Humidity 89.26
Sea Surface Temperature 28.3oC
Barometric Pressure 1015.9 inches
Latitude 8o 53.96 N Longitude 48o 05.43 W
Science and Technology Log
We released our first radiosonde this morning. These balloons have instruments attached to them that will measure atmospheric pressure, temperature and relative humidity as they go up into the atmosphere. As the balloon rises, it expands as the atmospheric pressure outside the balloon decreases. After about 2 hours the balloon bursts and falls back into the ocean. Four of this particular type of radiosonde will be released every day. This data is used as input for weather prediction models, weather and climate change research, input for air pollution models and ground truth for satellite data.
We also deployed our first global drifter this afternoon. A surface drifter consists of a buoy and a sea anchor. The drifters have sensors that can measure sea surface temperature and the ocean current. Information is collected by the sensors and uploaded to a passing satellite and then transmitted back to Earth where all the information from all the drifters give us a better picture of what is happening out in the ocean. Drifters are deployed from hurricane hunter aircraft so we can better predict and understand hurricanes. Data from drifters was used to determine where floating debris would be found shortly after the disappearance of Air France flight 447 on May 31, 2009. For more information on the NOAA Global Drifter Program, visit their website.
I have received a couple of emails asking about the food on the ship. We have three meals a day and there is quite a selection. For breakfast, you can have pancakes, eggs, sausage, oatmeal, fresh fruit or a selection of dry cereal. For lunch, it really varies; today there was a salad, hot dogs, hamburgers and french fries. Dinner also varies, but so far we have had fish, ribs, chicken and a salad. There is also a veggie option for each meal. Coffee, tea and other beverages as well as some snack items are pretty much available 24 hours.