Will Collect Scientific Data for Nasa Study Along the Way
SAN DIEGO, CA — MAY 8TH, 2015
[UPDATE: Sonya officially started her journey across the Pacific on June 7 at 17:10 (JST)] Professional athlete and “Citizen Scientist” Sonya Baumstein will attempt to break four world records during a trans-Pacific solo row from Choshi, Japan to San Francisco, USA. Along the way, she will collect and transmit conductivity, temperature and depth (CTD) data to Earth and Space Research, a nonprofit research institute, to help calibrate and validate data from NASA’s Aquarius Mission, and add to the body of knowledge about ocean salinity, fresh water and sea surface temperature.
Baumstein will row more than 6,500 miles in a 23-foot boat. It’s an endurance challenge that’s only been achieved three times, and Baumstein is tackling it without a support boat. She’s planning to start her journey sometime between May 15 - 21 (weather conditions permitting). When she sets foot in California after more than 150 days at sea, she’ll be the first American and the first woman to complete the trip.
The instrument she will be using is called the CastAway-CTD manufactured by SonTek, a Xylem brand, based in San Diego. With every stroke, Baumstein will be adding to scientists’ understanding of the ocean, and helping to connect the dots between sea conditions and extreme weather.
Baumstein will row three hours on, three hours off. During set intervals throughout the day, she will lower the one-pound CastAway-CTD into the water on a quarter-inch line, give it about 10 seconds to equilibrate its temperature sensor, and submerge it to a depth of approximately 30 meters. As she lowers and raises the instrument, the CastAway’s pressure sensor will calculate depth, its thermistor will record temperature, and a six-electrode cell will measure electrical conductivity, which correlates with salinity. Every cast is georeferenced and time stamped by the instrument’s built-in GPS and downloads directly to Baumstein’s computer via Bluetooth. This data will then be used to ground truth the ocean salinity measurements taken from space within the NASA Aquarius Mission.
For more information on how to contact Baumstein’s media relations team, or the role of the CastAway-CTD in this expedition, visit Expedition Pacific.