There’s a mixture of relief and joy every time a robotic float is recovered. Years of research and months of intense engineering go into preparing each device for its life at sea, no matter how brief the stint. So when Carbon Flux Explorer 3 sent its ping this afternoon to say that it had surfaced and completed its mission, a day after it was first dropped into the Santa Cruz Basin, the reaction was one of excitement and anticipation.
Even with the GPS signal, it’s an impressive feat to find and retrieve the float. It is a small target in a large ocean, and the two antennae are black. The people who first saw the robotic float were instructed not to blink. Read More »