Patricia Persaud's blog

Thruster Pod - Sat, May 20

This is a single thruster pod that houses two propellers - remember these are controlled by the dynamic positioning system, and hold the ship’s position over the drill site. It is not easy to sense how steady the ship is unless you have a reference point, e.g., looking at something that is also steady. The problem is everything is on the ship or attached to it and therefore moving with it.

“Arduinos & Raspberry Pis” – Fri, May 19

Building cool circuits using microcontrollers or Arduinos (to the right in the pic) is one of the cool things we are doing in our spare time onboard the JR. I now have an idea of how to set these up as seismic sensors at my university to measure the motion of different stories in a building.

Thermal Conductivity – Mon, May 15

One of the rock properties we measure in the “Physical Properties” group, is thermal conductivity. This is a measure of how well the sediments or rock conduct heat and is used to determine the heat flow, an estimate of heat transfer out of the cooling rock layers. I carry out the measurement in different ways depending on whether it is sediment or rock.

Small Foam Cup – Sun, May 14

Foam cup #1 is back from the deep. It travelled with the VIT camera into the deep sea, down to almost 4000 meters below the sea surface. This is just above the ocean floor. The intense hydrostatic pressure shrunk the cup uniformly in all directions so it looks like a miniature version of its original self. The trip back up did not undo this irreversible change.

Happy Mother's Day - Sat, May 13

To all the wonderful Moms out there - we miss you and send you oodles of sunshine from the South China Sea. It's a beautiful, hot day today. After shift, we had our regular Saturday BBQ on the deck. Lots of Mom-cups have and are being designed and painted, and their miniature versions will be carried home.

Lifeboat lowering – Tue, May 9

Here is a shot of the crew lowering one of the lifeboats. This is Port Lifeboat 2. The JR has four lifeboats that look like small orange pods. I am assigned to Starboard Lifeboat 3, which is located on the opposite side of the ship. The lifeboats seem small relative to the size of the JR, but each one holds 70 persons.

Deep-sea life – Mon, May 8

This footage from the reentry cam shows a shrimp cruising around at the bottom of the ocean - the shrimp’s body needs to sustain an immense pressure of about 38 million Pascal or about 5500 pounds per square inch due to the weight of the overlying water. The water depth is given in the top right of the screen as 3778 m; for comparison the Empire State Building in NY is about 440 meters tall.

This is Ruber! – Sun, May 7

Globigerinoides ruber is very common in the modern ocean. It is a surface-water specie of foram (short for Foraminifera). This is an SEM image made from a G. ruber foram found in the shallow sediments of the South China Sea. A scale is given in the lower right of the image. The shell oxygen isotopes and Mg:Ca ratios of G. ruber is often used to indicate the sea surface temperature.

BIG Foam Cup – Sat, May 6

This is my self-painted foam cup. I will post another photo after it has travelled some hundreds of meters below the sea surface and back. I sat down to paint my cup and drew a blank, then started to trace my hand on the cup. The rest is artistic license and the names of family members were added for some extra flare.

Special Winch and “VIT”– Fri, May 5

There are lots of winches and cables around. This winch lowers the Vibration Isolated Television (VIT) Optic Fiber Equipment that looks like it belongs in the Thunderdome through the Moon Pool. It has a special armored fiber-optic cable attached to it and it uses the drill string as a guide while lowering the VIT.

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