Underwater Glider Completes First-Ever Unmanned Ocean Crossing

Scarlet Knight . . . The future of deep-water oceanography?

On December 9, officials from NOAA joined scientists from Rutgers University and other overseas institutions in a celebration highlighting the first-ever trans-Atlantic ocean crossing of an unmanned, underwater glider . . . 

The glider, launched off the coast of New Jersey last April, repeatedly dove to depths of 200 meters (656 feet) to collect data including temperature, salinity, and density. Scientists correlate these data with those from satellite imagery and altimetry, sea-floor and buoy-mounted sensors, and radar systems to get a more detailed view of a particular patch of ocean in near real time.

Source: NOAA's press release 

Further details about mission can be found at Rutgers University Scarlet Knight website.

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Comment by Astrix Martin on May 4, 2012 at 7:53pm

Might make a good project. Australian National Facility for Ocean Gliders  and Analysis of an Autonomous Underwater Glider Gives some good information.

Comment by evilmacaw on May 4, 2012 at 8:09pm

Jay ,

yes that is the standard design ,been in use for more than 20 years and you are correct it is a displacement piston , i used the ballast pump designation as something nearly every one would understand , oh very early designs actuality had a pump and a fluid holding tank but the displacement piston  is far more efficient power and space/weight wise .  The current design is relatively unchanged from 20 years ago as far as the physical platform design only the instrument packages have changed radically . Oh and gliders  are very slow even with the high angle of attack dive /rise profile  about 1.6 KPH forward speed down or up and we are not talking about  speed over ground  we are talking dive/rise speed , a fair amount of surface area and wet weight displacement of less than a Kilo between rise or dive are the limiting factors to it`s speed , also the referenced model is a shallow water design at 50- 300 m max depth .

There are units designed for far greater depths of up to 5000 m  these units "phone home " every so many cycles by sat link to transfer the collected data ,reprogramming on the fly  and final surfacing position  and recovery beacon . 


What makes this a record  is it`s power lasting so long (better battery tech ) and distance with out servicing , they do not say anything about the data storage size but i would guess that it just had a final surfacing beacon for recovery not a phone home data system.


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