US military offers $50,000 to predict where sensors drift in the ocean

A note in a bottle dropped in the ocean may be found years later somewhere completely unexpected; the routes taken by such bottles have already been an enduring mystery of the ocean. This month, researchers will try to tackle that mystery in the Forecasting Floats in Turbulence competition sponsored by the US Defense Advanced STUDIES Agency (DARPA), with a $50,000 prize on the line.

Oceanographers have an accurate picture of so-called mesoscale features, patterns of ocean currents that cover …

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