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Lessons Learned in Developing a Canadian Operational Glider Fleet

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Canada's expanding “Blue Economy” requires a major expansion of existing ocean monitoring if developments are to be sustainably managed. Dalhousie University, the Ocean Tracking Network, and the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network of Centers of Excellence have operated a mixed fleet of gliders for 7 years on missions covering >50,000 km. The data from these missions are used by research programs, nongovernmental organizations, and government agencies. The gliders have proven to be reliable platforms for ocean observation, collecting data in inclement weather, and times of the year when it is difficult to get ships at sea. However, glider operations have a steep learning curve, and much of the expertise that resides within an operational glider group is gleaned through experience. Managing glider data also poses significant challenges. Planning, risk management, rapid adaptation to the unexpected, and dedicated highly qualified personnel are the keys to sustaining successful glider operations.
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Keywords: animal tracking; data management; ocean gliders; operational oceanography

Document Type: Technical Note

Publication date: May 1, 2018

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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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