They knew that locating an NBST after deployment would not be trivial.
They estimate where the NBST will surface and steer the ship in that direction.
At the surface, the NBST turns on an internal Global Positioning System receiver and then sends its position to the ship via a series of satellite relays.
The crew shines a spotlight on it (left) and maneuvers the big research ship within yards of the NBST.
So with trepidation, Valdes sent seven NBSTs overboard in 2004 in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii.
But we were confident that our basic idea had merit, and we persisted in building and deploying NBST
prototypes until finally achieving real success during this past summer and fall.