The biggest HIGHWAVE field trip since 2019 has taken place between 9th and 11th of June. Most of the team worked together on the very first installation of the POD on Inis Mean. This was a big job, and required a lot of hands and some intricate planning.

20210610 pod 1

The location of the POD was decided in advance, and this alone required a lot of work between the team members and the local community. Once the location was established, project engineer - Arnaud Disant had to carefully devise a plan to deliver the POD and all the required parts and tools to the location. Managing six people on the edge of the cliff was an additional challenge - all the appropriate safety protocols had to be worked out and followed. 

Once all the parts were delivered to the location the assembly began. Assembling anything in the workshop is one thing, assembling something on field, with additional challenges like the wind, rain and rocks is another… It was very challenging. You won’t find our POD on the internet, or with any supplier of scientific instruments as it was specially designed for Highwave, it’s our first piece of intellectual property. Designed to endure the ruggedness of the Aran Islands and operate in very hostile conditions it is at the same time a shelter for our instruments and a relay station for our data. In addition to the POD itself, the inside of the POD carries the instruments (cameras), power (batteries and a solar panel), and communications (an antenna and a router). The arrangement of inside tools and instruments was designed in such a way that nothing inside would get damaged and is placed in the most efficient way possible, there is plenty of space inside the POD. 

All the inside parts required wiring - with different types of wires and connections. It was a great opportunity for the team to learn about the electrics part and to get their hands on crimpers, cutters, 6 mm2 wire, CAT5 and other tools you would not expect an applied mathematician to be working with. 

The HIGHWAVE team did not only concentrate on the science - we cleaned a part of the beach from plastic and other debris washed on shore. 

inismaan cleaning

The atmosphere on the island was even more welcoming than usual, if it is even possible. The island shop owner, Karen, visited the MRS on Wednesday to learn more about the project. In the evenings and mornings the team had lovely conversations with Máirtín, the owner of the Cois Cuain B&B, and Colm. I think it is safe to say that everyone is looking forward to coming back!