Measuring gamma radiation underwater at the Malaposta quarry. The system is working even better than I had imagined it would be possible :)
Two years ago a proposal for building such a system was refused with the overall comments: This project is a good technology development project and the successful completion of the project would have scientific, economic and socio-economic value. What is not clear is whether it would be successful... While the PI and their team clearly have experience in measuring radon, what they don't seem to have is any expertise on making an in situ device for long term use in seawater. Thus it is the maritimization aspects of this proposal that are weakest and are the major risk to the successful completion of the project."
Well, even without specific funding the system is now completed and fully working! Actually the reviewers were right - I wouldn't make it without the INESC TEC CRAS team - but together we (they!) made it: cheaper, faster, and better!
Yesterday while deploying the sensor for one more underwater measurement, I couldn't help remembering one of my favorite quotes:
“Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initative or creation, there is one elementary truth...that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves. too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise never have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in ones's favor all manner of incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have believed would have come his way. Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace, and power in it.” W.H. Murray, Scottish Himalayan Expedition
Next goal: deeper (>1000 m), and ocean (salinity)! I don't know exactly when or with what funding, but I'm sure we'll make it!!