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Blog: Team photo, quadcopter and helikite - 2 - 4 March

On Friday the sun shone for the first time in a while, and we sailed close to our second proper iceberg of the voyage.

Tan1802 voyage team photo

We took the opportunity of nice weather to have our voyage team photo. Another group of humpback whales joined us and were breaching and rolling around just off the bow shortly after this photo was taken, so there was plenty of action for the University of Auckland Whale Team, and excitement for the rest of us before settling back to our daily tasks and routines.

On Saturday and Sunday the weather was also relatively calm so allowed for a UAV (quadcopter) flight with an attached radiosonde to collect atmospheric data for Peter Kuma, University of Canterbury. This is an alternative strategy to using helium filled balloons. Peter attached a GoPro camera to the drone so we got some awesome shots of the Tangaroa from the air.

R/V Tangaroa in the Ross Sea.

Quadcopter, University of Canterbury

Peter Kuma, University of Canterbury, and Nick Eton, NIWA prepare to fly the quadcopter from the bow of the R/V Tangaroa.
Sadie Mills, NIWA

The quadcopter taking off from the deck of the Tangaroa with its radiosonde attached.
David Bowden, NIWA


Sean Hartery NIWA/University of Canterbury, has also deployed the helikite, a large helium filled hybrid between a kite and a balloon. The bottom half of it is made from tent material and is designed to be aerodynamic, and top half is a thin plastic. It was tethered to a winch on the fantail of the ship and had three particle counters, measuring aerosols between 0.3-50 micron, and a device similar to a windsonde onboard to measure pressure, temp and relative humidity. The helikite got up to 260 m on its first flight, but is anticipated to go higher if we get the opportunity to use it again.

Tangaroa deck crew help Sean Hartery, NIWA/University of Canterbury, to prepare the helikite for deployment.

Amelia Connell, University of Auckland

The helikite flying shortly after deployment.  
Amelia Connell, University of Auckland

The tethered helikite up in the air behind the Tangaroa.
David Bowden, NIWA