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Enabling discovery based science with Webb Gliders

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6 Author(s)
Oscar Schofield ; Coastal Ocean Observation Lab, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, School of Environment and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901, USA ; Josh Kohut ; Hugh Roarty ; Scott Glenn
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Buoyancy driven Slocum Gliders were a vision of Douglas Webb, which Henry Stommel championed in a futuristic vision published in 1989. Slocum Gliders have transitioned from a concept to a technology serving basic research and environmental stewardship. The long duration and low operating costs of Gliders allow them to anchor spatial time series. Large distances, over 600 kilometers, can be covered using a single set of alkaline batteries. Since the initial tests, a wide range of physical and optical sensors have been integrated into the Glider allowing measurements of temperature, salinity, depth averaged currents, surface currents, fluorescence, apparent and inherent optical properties. The ability to operate Gliders for extended periods of time are making them the central in situ technology for the evolving ocean observatories. Off shore New Jersey Gliders have occupied a cross shelf transect and have documented the annual variability in shelf wide stratification on the Mid-Atlantic Bight and the role of storms in sediment resuspension. The sustained data permit scientists to gather regional data critical to addressing if, and how, the oceans are changing. One of next major regions we will use this technology is to study the climate induced impacts on the food webs along the West Antarctic Peninsula.

Published in:

2008 IEEE/OES US/EU-Baltic International Symposium

Date of Conference:

27-29 May 2008