Underwater Gliders Operations
Daniele Cecchi, Bartolome Garau, Alberto Alvarez, Alessandra Tesei, Elena Camossi, Richard Stoner, Emanuel Coelho (NATO S&TO Centre for Maritime Research & Experimentation – CMRE, Italy)
Underwater gliders are buoyancy driven autonomous vehicles with extremely long endurance. The absence of a propeller makes these platforms energy efficient allowing for a persistent sampling of the oceans. A large variety of sensors have been already integrated in the existing platforms, ranging from hydrographic (CTD, ADCP), biogeochemical (fluorescence, turbulence…), optical (irradiance, backscatter…) and acoustical (fish tracker…). Several institutions around the globe are currently operating gliders to measure properties of the sea water that allow for the study of mesoscale and submesoscale processes. A non–exhaustive list of possible applications is: oceanographic research, water quality monitoring, marine environment observation, pollution detection, marine mammals’ presence detection, climate change research, defense and security.
The lectures proposed for the tutorial will cover the basic functioning principles of underwater gliders, the common usage of these platforms in the scientific community and will present the different platforms available in the market. The presenters will then guide the audience in all the different phases of gliders preparation and mission planning. Deployment, recovery (including planning and execution of emergency recoveries), mission monitoring and execution will be introduced. Focus will be given to the problem of glider data processing and management, with particular care to data standardization for improved interoperability, data discovery and data exchange. Possible applications of underwater gliders in environmental characterization and a recent experiment on fast boat detection using anacoustic array integrated in an underwater glider will be included.
The tutorial is intended for scientists, researchers and engineers active in ocean science and marine technology interested in persistent, sustainable and efficient sampling of the ocean. The attendees will receive a general overview of present glider technology and of a possible methodology to run a glider fleet including the management of the data collected.