October 4, 2016 · Robust Probe Deployments Hurricane Matthew Atlantic

Preparing for Matthew

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We are watching with great concern the developments in the Caribbean and south Atlantic. Models currently suggest that Hurricane Matthew could hug the Eastern Seaboard, impacting the Mid-Atlantic region Saturday into Sunday. With the potential for high winds, and heavy rain, the Chesapeake Bay will be hazardous not only for surface craft, but for undersea craft as well. Given the Bay's mostly shallow waters, there will be nowhere for the Strikepods to safely ride out the storm. We are prepared for the possibility that we may have no choice but to recall them for 24-48 hours, then immediately redeploy once conditions have improved. This will, of course, be a last resort, as it will mean temporarily suspending ROBUST PROBE, and breaking contact with CLASSIC-2, however, surface conditions may generate a highly challenging acoustic environment, which would likely result in lost contact regardless of our efforts.

What, then, of the Istinas? At this time we are unsure of their intentions. If they were deployed from a handler operating in the Bay, or just outside and off the coast, they could be safely retrieved ahead of the storm. Or they could attempt to ride out the storm while parked on the bottom, or in one of the deeper zones off the coast of Bloody Point. Or perhaps they will take no precautions at all, and continue their mission uninterrupted. As the week progresses, and Matthew's path becomes clearer, we may gain addition insight in this regard.

But for now, we await further data to make our decision.
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