Wave Gliders Measure Water Temperatures Of The Pacific

Wave Gliders Measure Water Temperatures Of The Pacific

Benoite Lecomte will be stage swimming across the Pacific Ocean starting in April 2012, but he may have some great data to fall back upon.

While Benoite Lecomte is undergoing final preparation for his Japan-to-California solo stage swim, four dolphin-sized Wave Gliders, self-propelled robots, departed San Francisco on a 60,000 km journey in the opposite direction.

The quad of Wave Gliders, built by Liquid Robotics, are scheduled to travel together to Hawaii and then split into duos. One pair will head off to Japan while the other pair goes on their way to Australia. Like the French adventurer, the robots will be propelled by waves and currents.

But while Benoit sleeps and replenishes on his support boat, the Wave Gliders keep on moving, powered by solar energy so its sensors continuously measure water salinity, temperature, clarity, and oxygen content, collect weather data, and gather information on wave features and currents.

Like their human open water counterpart, the Wave Gliders will encounter tough conditions and rough seas, but will be collecting extremely valuable information that can be used by a variety of scientists and industries. Wave Glider inventor Graham Hine, senior vice president of operations, explains, “The goal is to push the boundaries of science, and prove to the world that this type of technology is ready to increase our understanding of the ocean.”

The data from the fleet of robots is being streamed via the Iridium satellite network and is freely available on Google Earth’s Ocean Showcase.

These low cost devices are capable of providing the distributed persistence needed to redefine the transparency of our vast oceans,” says Marv Langston.

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones