Over the coming weeks, the Ocean Cleanup will perform several tests to slow down or speed up the system. At the initial stage, the team will start the first test to attempt slowing down the system. The latest version of this design, dubbed System 001/B, has arrived in the patch after eight days of transit.
More specifically, the team will conduct six tests:
- Earth-fixed: During the test, the operating vessel will maintain the system in a fixed geographic by means of dynamic positioning. This will mimic the status of being anchored to the seabed.
- Current-fixed: To trial the slow-down option, the operating vessel will maintain the speed of the current by means of dynamic positioning. This will enable the team to study the feasibility of slowing down the system, thus preparing them to test the parachute anchor.
- Parachute: With a parachute anchor, and the vessel on stand-by, the team will study the option of slowing down the system, while letting the plastic catch up with it and concentrate against the screen. The main interest is finding a viable option that will maintain a consistent speed difference.
- Inflatable bag: During this test the aim is to see if the system can move faster than the plastic. The team will do this by allowing the system to float freely with attached lift-bags pulling it forward.
- Tow-test: For a final confirmation of the option to collect and retain plastic with the system moving faster than the plastic, the team will tow system 001/B behind the operating vessel at a low, but consistent speed.
- Fenders: In the event that the lift-bags are ineffective, the team will trial fenders, which will drag the system forward and, in theory, faster than the plastic. The fenders are larger and heavier than the lift bag.
Following the announcement made on June 24, that the Ocean Cleanup is ready to re-begin operations, it is ready to operate in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch this summer. The latest version of this design, dubbed System 001/B, has arrived in the patch after eight days of transit.
The Maersk transporter arrived in Vancouver, coming from San Diego. After the arrival, the system was connected to the vessel and the crew prepared for their journey. The vessel is no able to travel faster and transmit time is less, almost one week of travel in total, as the team decided not to tow with the skirt attached to the system and have less loads on the system in general.