You are here
What is an underwater glider?
SEA EXPLORER is a high performance glider that can provide continuous efficient ocean monitoring.
With SEA EXPLORER, gathering ocean data in real-time becomes very cost effective.
A glider is an underwater vehicle propelled by small changes in its buoyancy. Slightly heavy at the surface, the glider dives. Once at a maximum depth, the ballast system allows the glider to become slightly lighter and to navigate back to the surface. The glider thus navigates along an up and down profile (sawtooth shape).
This ballast-based propulsion system results in lower speed (below 0.5 m/s) and higher endurance (typically 1-2 months) than conventional autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV).
The long endurance enables the glider to explore the oceans, acquiring data over large areas, with a deep vertical profile (750 m for SEA EXPLORER glider) and over a much longer duration than traditional autonomous exploring techniques.
When the SEA EXPLORER surfaces, it sends collected data ashore and receives new mission commands via the Iridium Satellite Network. The operator uses a web-based interface to stay in contact with surfaced gliders and to monitor glider history.