Glider Robots: Gulf Oil Spill real-time location map

By Posted 20 Jun 2010, 09:55

Those tracking the Gulf Oil spill have been trying a number of devices to try and keep ahead of the game by keeping an eye on where the oil spill is – the latest device are Glider Robots. These offer a real-time location map, giving information on ocean movement and the predicted path of the oil.

These Glider Robots uses the power of the water to move across the ocean – Stephanie Pappas who has written an article on Yahoo News reports that there are eight of these aquatic robots marauding the Gulf and are being controlled by researchers remotely.

These gliders have been packed with high-tech sensors, which can measure organic material and water temperature. If you were to see one of these Gliders you will be forgiven for thinking that it was a torpedo. They can move around the ocean by sucking in water, this lowers the robot in the water.

Once the glider is at its required depth it can then expel the water and then return to the surface. The controller continues to do these so that the gliders perform a zig-zag pattern. These gliders are used because they are much quicker and more maneuverable than research vessels.

To see Gulf Oil Spill real-time location map visit Rutgers

  • Chuck

    Small but vital correction: the statement, “These gliders are used because they are much quicker and more maneuverable than research vessels” is not true. The gliders are *slower* and *less maneuverable* than research vessels. The reasons gliders are great are that (1) they operate remotely, by themselves, (2) they can run for months at a time, and (3) they are cheap. A research vessel filled with crew and scientists can run from $50,000 to $150,000 per day. A bare-model underwater glider can be had for around $100,000 and it can be launched from a rowboat or a dock. Gliders deliver more data per dollar and they can be commanded from a laptop anywhere – your office, on the road – anywhere you can access the Internet. They’re a no-brainer for anyone who needs ocean data.

    The gliders cruise at about half a knot (say, ~half a mile per hour).