|The LPPR1 station as seen in 2013.|
The CREWS station located near Media Luna Reef in La Parguera, PR, will be offline until further notice. The station has experienced numerous communications and power problems over the last few years and diagnoses of these problems remain elusive. The last repair attempt, described in this blog post, resulted in the known failure of both CTDs and a suboptimal placement of the deep light sensor after a key part of its mounting platform broke. This was shortly followed by yet another loss of communications and a probable loss of power, on August 31st, 2013.
This CREWS station was physically deployed on October 18th, 2005 and first went live on January 15th, 2006 following the installation of its electronics, sensors and solar panels. This station has operated for nearly eight years, which far exceeds the station's expected lifetime, estimated by some to have been approximately five years.
Given that repeated repair attempts have failed to correct the mysterious disconnects between the station electronics, solar panels and rechargeable batteries, the station must now be considered irreparable, short of recovering the station to land for extensive analysis and repair. Rather than bring the station to land and then redeploy it in its current form, plans are being made to replace this station with a CREWS buoy similar to those that have recently been deployed in Belize, Tobago (BUTO1 and ARTO1), Little Cayman (CCMI2) and Barbados (DRBB1). Note that this buoy design is also a distant cousin of the MApCO2 buoy currently operating nearby at Cayo Enrique. The first stage of this work, that of station removal, could possibly begin as early as late 2014 or early 2015.
Further information on this station's removal and replacement will be posted on this blog as it becomes available.