Frequently Asked Questions

There are two basic types of ocean-going drifters:
1. standard surface drifter designed by Russ Davis in the early 1980s
2. standard drogued drifter (with a cylindrical “holey sock” tethered well below the surface)
We make both these types. Although most have been the surface drifters, we encourage you to try both. As described by separate pull down menus on “studentdrifters.org”, they are both about the same cost and effort to build.

We have been experimenting with a variety of surface drifters in the past decade in order to minimize cost, effort, plastic, and windage. The result is a series of models all with the same shape and size to comply with the standard but they are made from different materials. To see the full list visit the studentdrifters.org “History” tab. In the past few years, we have been suggesting:
● Irina drifter w/aluminum frame
● Tim drifter w/play tunnel drogue
Although, beginning in 2016, we are considering an alternative eco-friendly designs made with cotton and bamboo.

Go to the main drifter website at nefsc.noaa.gov/drifter and look for the link to: “To see the process of getting involved with the project, click here. “ Also, we started holding a series of “drifter users meetings” in various places around New England as documented here. Attending these meetings is the best way to meet all the people involved.