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About Wilson

Wilson is a drifting buoy powered by the sun. Wilson's brain is an Arduino computer. Its senses are an array of instruments: an air temperature sensor, a water temperature sensor, a barometer, a hydrometer (to measure relative humidity), and a GPS receiver (for location).

Wilson gathers information about its environment and transmits it to Mission Control (San Francisco, California) via satellite every 12 hours.

It's named after Wilson the Volleyball from the movie "Cast Away", was inspired by the MD Buoy Project., and was built by high school student Hayden Brophy in San Francisco, California.

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If you're interested in the technical details, check here!

Launch

On Saturday, 08 August 2020, Wilson launched from the Castaway Waterfront & Sushi Bar aboard the The Raw Deal, captained by Jim Knutson.

Wilson was released into the ocean approximately 15 NM SSE of Marathon, FL, so that the Gulf Stream current will carry it up the East Coast of the United States and off into the North Atlantic.

Watch the launch here (please subscribe to Gables on the Go for their support):

Mission Statement

The ultimate objective of Project Wilson is to collect oceanographic and atmospheric data about the Gulf Stream. As Wilson is carried by Gulf Stream valuable data will be collected (every 12 hours), such as water temperature, ambient air temperature, barometric pressure, relative humidity, and rate of speed.

What is the Gulf Stream?

In it's fundamental terms, the Gulf Stream is the circulation of equatorial heated water, and polar cooled water. As the sun's rays heat the water along the equator it is moved westward by the rotation of the earth. Striking the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean the current is redirected up along the east coast of the United States. Traveling along the east coast the Gulf Stream provides vital nutrients for aquatic life. Then the stream takes an eastward direction and begins traveling toward Europe. When the stream reaches Europe and the UK it warms the surrounding region. Climatologists predict, given Europe's high latitude, that if the Gulf Stream didn't exist it would be 5-10 degrees (C) colder. After passing Europe the stream diverges: one stream goes north toward the pole, while the other descents toward Africa. The northerly route is then met by freezing 0-degree (C) water near the pole, in addition to gaining salinity, as a result the stream descents like a waterfall through the layers of the ocean. This now submerged stream turns around and travels south. Moving below the Gulf Stream, past the equator, and all the way down to Antarctica where it meets other southerly currents. Meanwhile, the African route of the stream re-encounters the equatorial heating zone and thus continues the cycle of the Gulf Stream.

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