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Underwater gliders adjust buoyancy to generate gliding motion through water columns using a pair of wings. Various types of underwater gliders have been developed and have been tested as efficient long-distance, long-duration ocean sampling platforms. We introduce the Chinese Sea-Wing underwater glider and develop methods to increase its gliding range by optimizing the steady motion parameters to save energy. The methods are based on a model that relates gliding range to steady gliding motion parameters as well as energy consumption. A sensor scheduling strategy accounts for the distributed features of vertical profiles so that the sampling resolution is adjusted to reduce energy consumption of sensing. The effect of the proposed methods to increase gliding range is evaluated on the Sea-Wing glider. The proposed methods may be applicable to other types of underwater gliders.
Date of Publication: April 2013