Sensor Bots and Glider

      Today is the first full day on the water for Leg 2 and we are currently in transit to Axial sea mount, located at the edge of the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate. The bunks are comfortable and I had a great night’s sleep!
       The day started out with a fire drill and safety talk, during which time we had a contest to see who could put on their survival suit first. I then helped to assemble some sensors that will be deployed to the seafloor later in the week and will measure pH, temperature and O2 concentrations. These sensor bots can contain other instruments and transmit data to a camera through a sequence of blue flashes. The goal of these sensors is to be able to collect data over a large area using only light transmissions. The flashing light is mesmerizing!
       Also aboard the ship is a glider from Rutgers University, which will be deployed tomorrow and remain at sea until the end of the cruise. The glider can travel to a depth of 1000m (~3000ft) and will collect conductivity, temperature and density readings. The glider is programmed to return to the surface every 3-4 hours, where it will transmit its readings via satellite and can be reprogramed to reach a new waypoint.
        The goal of this cruise is to figure out where best to place instruments and cables along the seafloor so that this region can be monitored continuously from ashore. Part of the goal is to find routs for instruments as to limit damage caused by future lava flows. The volcano erupted sometime in the last few months, so it is possible that there are new routs to be planned!
       The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) onboard should be deployed sometime Sunday, so keep an eye on the live stream!