The AUV Sentry Team is completing a cruise on R/V Atlantic Explorer (Cruise AE1824) today. This is an NSF-funded science and engineering research expedition lead by Professor Louis Whitcomb (Johns Hopkins University) and Dr. James Kinsey (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) to test a novel directional sensing device and innovative acoustic communication methods.
Like any UNOLS cruise effort, this cruise could not be accomplished without support from shipboard science support group. The Sentry program has also closely communicated with the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) Oceanographic Technical Services department to plan the cruise, to mobilize the vehicle system, and to integrate the vehicle system with the ship in order to ensure that missions could be executed as the users proposed. When Atlantic Explorer set sail on August 22, Zac Berkowitz, the Sentry Expedition Leader for the Cruise AE1824, noted, “It took a lot of effort to get to this point and I’d like to give my thanks to all of the personnel at BIOS and the crew of the R/V Atlantic Explorer who have helped tremendously.”
The vehicle also got help from an old sailing mate—a previous undergraduate Sentry cruise participant and UNOLS MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) program intern — who is now the BIOS Oceanographic Technical Services manager, Nick Matthews. Nick evidence that efforts by the Sentry program to make an impact on the community by helping foster the next generation of oceanographers is succeeding. His first sea-going experience was with Sentry in 2011 (JQZ 2011 Cruise TN272), something that helped influence his choice of direction in his post-college career. “I sailed with a team of robotics engineers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and I was completely sold on oceanography,” Nick said in a recent issue of the BIOS newsletter Currents. “All I wanted to do after that was fieldwork and research on ships, and this inspired me to become a marine technician.” The Sentry program continues to thrive and we look forward more of these reunions in the future.