The Aerial and Aquatic Robot Research team (aarr.piratelab.org) now has a somewhat reliable internet connection and will now have more frequent updates. The team split up this morning, half of the team joined the other sandy beach ecology group, and the rest of our team went to the main village in Aitutaki to obtain a better internet connection, and download the files that are necessary for mapping, and beginning the remotely piloted surveys. After returning to our hotel, the team reassembled, and the cargo finally arrived from the airport!
We opened our luggage and to our dismay, one of our ROV submarines (Leviathan) had been smashed to pieces. This came as a shock as it was in a tough pelican case, and the other ROV was loosely packed in a crate with foam padding. The team rushed to assemble the shattered ROV, and affix the bio-fluorescence payload to the ROV, and compensate for the chance in balance / ballast. We also assembled all of our robots, and took a picture with the rest of the teams, to publish in the local newspapers, to inform the local villagers about the work that we are doing, and the the strange looking tools that we are using.
After repairing the broken ROV (Leviathan), and mounting up the payload on the other ROV, we headed out to the northern part of Aitutaki and launched our experimental setup on it’s first dive.
The dive was successful, and we detected the proteins in the coral that we were looking for! There are a number of things that we need to improve before the next dive, but that will come in the following days.