The ongoing Corona pandemic has delayed research activities in the oceanographic sector in the past year.
Some projects had to be postponed or even cancelled for the time being, since research cruises, if any, could no longer be carried out to the previous extent. Among other things, this led to ther situation that moorings, installed on previous cruises, could not be recovered to the extent planned. This has led to the problem that the battery capacity of some moorings may sometimes be dangerously depleted. Remaining battery capacity is, however, a mandatory prerequisite for the recovery of the moorings, as they have to receive and process an acoustic command from the surface in order to detach themselves from their ballast weights in several thousand meters and to start their way back to the sea surface by means of VITROVEX buoyancy spheres installed along with the sensors.
The German research vessel Sonne is now on its way to recover these moorings, some of which being overdue. The cruise leader Nico Lahajnar is documenting this cruise in a blog worth reading.
We wish Sonne good luck on this journey and hope that all moorings can be recovered successfully.
Picture courtesy of Knut Heinatz, University of Hamburg