Charting the Irrawaddy with balloons and GPS trackers

A team of TU Delft researchers and students travelled to Myanmar the last week of January 2017 to chart the flow of the country’s largest river, the Irrawaddy. The delegation took with them 15 specially-made GPS trackers and 400 balloons with LED lights to help complete the task. Once the devices were put to water, the team tracked their progress as they travelled several hundred kilometres downstream. Using this method, the researchers collected data on the variations in the flow rate of the river. The team also measured the quality of the water. The data will be used to calibrate a model of the river’s hydraulics and water quality. The team’s progress could be followed on the TU Delft Instagram account,  via #theweekof, and on the account of one of the participating scientists Rolf Hut. Their combined posts are listed below.

Part of my work today: attaching bricks to coconuts. #Mandalay #Irrawaddy #fieldwork @tudelft

A photo posted by Rolf Hut (@researchrolf) on

A photo posted by TU Delft (@tudelft) on

Balloons with lights inside for tracer test. Almost done

A photo posted by Rolf Hut (@researchrolf) on

And here.... we.... go.... Trackers away. #fieldwork #irrawaddy @tudelft

A photo posted by Rolf Hut (@researchrolf) on

Balloon tracers at dawn at Irrawaddy #NoFilter #myanmar #fieldwork #TheWeekOf

A photo posted by TU Delft (@tudelft) on

A, so that is why they call it a "water"-melon. Spotted in the #irrawaddy during #fieldwork

A photo posted by Rolf Hut (@researchrolf) on

Feels like Mickey Mouse is floating down the Chindwin river in #myanmar. #fieldwork.

A photo posted by Rolf Hut (@researchrolf) on

Presenting Thom "the antenna" Bogaard. On out way back from a good final day of #fieldwork.

A photo posted by Rolf Hut (@researchrolf) on

Discussing field measurements on #Irrawaddy #Myanmar #Fieldwork #TheWeekOf #Tudelft

A photo posted by TU Delft (@tudelft) on

The rims on our shuttle are held in place with tiewraps. Love it!

A photo posted by Rolf Hut (@researchrolf) on

#Pagoda in Pakokku #Irrawaddy #myanmar #TheWeekOf #tudelft

A photo posted by TU Delft (@tudelft) on

After long day of #fieldwork we enjoyed excellent #myanmar food. #TheWeekOf #tudelft

A photo posted by TU Delft (@tudelft) on

#fieldwork done. Survived one night in #bangkok. Now ready to fly home on this @klm bird.

A photo posted by Rolf Hut (@researchrolf) on

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