Subscribe to our newsletter
Get the latest news, events and developments from iAtlantic, straight to your inbox.
Autonomous underwater gliders are designed to monitor the ocean environment for months at a time. Unlike propeller driven AUVs, such as Autosub5, gliders are powered by a buoyancy engine – they change their own density relative to the seawater around them so that they ‘glider’ through the ocean, surfacing every few hours to transmit the scientific data they have collected via satellite. Although this makes them slower than propeller-driven AUVs, they are extremely efficient and can travel hundreds of miles on a single battery.
On JC237 we are using a specially designed glider that can dive to over 4000 m, much deeper than standard underwater gliders, so that we can monitor the water column deep into Whittard Canyon. It is equipped with sensors to measure the temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen concentration of the seawater. From this data we will determine how deep water masses move through the canyon system and also measure the energetic subsurface (‘internal’) tides that are predicted by numerical ocean models to occur in the canyon.