Using Gliders For Long-Term Ocean Observations

Long-term ocean observations can be extremely costly and time-consuming. Typical data collection methods include large, manned platforms on or above the water that drive sensors to areas of interest. The operation and maintenance of a research vessel, with equipment and crew, traditionally have been a massive endeavor.

As unmanned maritime systems have evolved, they have emerged as cost-efficient methods for collecting ocean data. In the early 2000s, underwater gliders were introduced to the oceanographic community as an addition to the suite of tools used in oceanographic research. Today, gliders are an integral part of ocean observations, collecting physical, biological, optical and acoustic data sets with high temporal and spatial resolution at a fraction of the cost of ship-based data collections.

To read the full article, which was featured in ON&T February 2021, click here.

By Duane Fotheringham, president, Unmanned Systems business group, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Technical Solutions