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Underwater Gliders for Ocean Research

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Underwater gliders are autonomous vehicles that profile vertically by controlling buoyancy and move horizontally on wings. Gliders are reviewed, from their conception by Henry Stommel as an extension of autonomous profiling floats, through their development in three models, and including their first deployments singly and in numbers. The basics of glider function are discussed as implemented by University of Washington in Seaglider, Scripps Institution of Oceanography in Spray, and Webb Research in Slocum. Gliders sample in the archetypical modes of sections and of "virtual moorings." Preliminary results are presented from a recent demonstration project that used a network of gliders off Monterey. A wide range of sensors has already been deployed on gliders, with many under current development, and an even wider range of future possibilities. Glider networks appear to be one of the best approaches to achieving subsurface spatial resolution necessary for ocean research.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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