The CHARGER boat was developed by students at the John Winthrop Middle School in Deep River (Connecticut, USA) in scope of an educational programme called Educational Passages. The programme, aiming at educating youngsters about the sciences of the world's oceans, launched in USA at the beginning of 2012 has travelled through the Atlantic Ocean and landed on 29 January 2014 on a sandy beach in Torreira, Portugal.
The boat was picked up by a local girl from the beach and later delivered to IST MARETEC, a Sea For Society partner. Together with other Sea For Society partner, Ciência Viva and other Portuguese entities the boat was repainted and launched on the Atlantic Ocean on 2 June 2014.
CHARGER in Portugal: Top left – CHARGER after her arrival in Portugal (Photo Credit: IST-MARETEC); Top right – Portuguese team that relaunched the CHARGER (Photo Credit: EMEPC); Bottom left – Sea For Society and other Portuguese entities logos on CHARGER (Photo Credit: IST-MARETEC); Bottom right – Sea For Society logo.
Taken into account the interest shown by locals on the equipment the Sea For Society project was involved in the relaunching of the CHARGER boat. A clarifying session at the local school is being prepared in order to address the population and local students on their questions about the equipment.
Now, in addition to the students at the John Winthrop Middle School in Deep River (USA), the boat is being closely followed by researchers at IST MARETEC (Portugal) and IST Institute for Systems and Robotics (Portugal). The researchers will use the route of the boat to calibrate the MOHID Water Modelling System, an integrated water modelling software developed by the reseracher Ramiro Neves at IST some years ago which predicts, for example, what happens to an object adrift at sea, the winds and currents.
The Sea For Society project hope that this activity will make society to become more aware about our valuable Ocean and to take actions to take better care of this unique resource.
The boat has a GPS that allows it to be followed online: http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/drifter/drift_ep_2014_1.html
Video showing the relaunching of the CHARGER boat on 2 June 2014: