Posted on 23 July 2011 by Daniel Bailey
Every now and then I'm reminded of both the beauty of our natural world and the amazing ability of technology to bring that beauty into sharper focus. As a species we have achieved wondrous things with our constructs, like sending researchers safely to the depths of the Marianas Trench and to the surface of the Moon (and back), and space probes to the other planets in our solar system and indeed to its very limits.
So it should come as no surprise to learn of the OBuoy Project, where real-time telemetry is used to bring both data and video from a buoy (UBuoy 2) moored in the Barents Sea north of Alaska to anyone with a web connection. Scientists have even spliced images from the buoy into a spectacular movie for all to see:
Prospects for continued documention of the sea ice melt around the buoy seem to have dimmed somewhat lately, as video transmission has ceased and the temperature of its battery has spiked (suggesting that the buoy may have been swamped by ice).
H/T to Neven's Sea Ice blog contributor R. Gates, who alerted folks there as to the UBuoy Program and to another contributor at Neven's, Rob Dekker, who found the video and the evidence of the buoy's perhaps premature end.