Monday, March 12, 2012

Gozo Cistern Exploration

Today, we took the ferry over to Gozo to explore 2 cisterns from last year and 1 new cistern all at the Citadel on the island of Gozo. In all three of the cisterns we visited today, the water was very murky causing no line of site (even with lasers); therefore, we only were only able to get sonar data and ROV sensor measurements at the bottom of the cisterns. Specifically, we were able to get really good scans of one of the cisterns revisited, nicknamed "The Keyhole". The scans last year from this site included some holes which were virtually filled. With the new data, we can estimate the accuracy of how well our hole filling algorithm is working.

After collecting data, our guide, George Azzopardi, gave us a quick tour of the Museum of Archaeology at the Citadel. The museum was really interesting with many artifacts from pottery to ancient utensils and figurines. After the tour, we stopped by a beautiful scenic site named "Azure Window" seen in the image below.

On the way back to the ferry, we stopped by the site that we will be visited on Thursday and Friday. The location was in a beautiful grassy field off of a very narrow gravel road. More will be posted about this place later this week.

Shortly after returning to the apartments, Chris Clark arrived! He kindly greeted us with groceries filled with delicious snacks :) Dinner was filled with many adventurous and personal stories about each of the members on the team. Another highlight of the day was submitting one of our papers to the IROS 2012 conference. This paper focused on the algorithm developed throughout the past year on mapping the cisterns visited last year, which will likely be used continually throughout the ongoing Malta Cistern Mapping Project.

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