After the close of the meeting, I offered the data manager for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution a ride to Boulder. The weather was going to be challenging (lightning, thunder, torrential rain, localized flooding) and I didn't relish attempting the drive alone.
She asked if I would mind if she made phone calls during the drive. I said that I didn't mind. But, I was surprised by what I observed. It may have been a normal work day for her, but I found it very interesting. She gave me permission to blog about it.
She prefaced her calls by telling the other end that she was in an automobile on Interstate 70 in Colorado and may lose reception when we head into Eisenhower tunnel, which carries automobile traffic under the continental divide.
|Eisenhower tunnel in clearer weather. Photo from Wikipedia.|
From a moving car on the western (Pacific) side of the continental divide, she used her cell phone as a wi-fi hotspot and her laptop to remotely turn on the power to the instruments in the Atlantic ocean. They repeated this sequence the entire trip to Boulder.
I know there are astronomers who remotely control telescopes. What other remote science experiments can you think of?