The Australian National Facility for Ocean Gliders is a program funded by the Australian Government to deploy a fleet of advanced robotic "Ocean Gliders" for oceanographic research. The program will have a fleet of gliders operating across Australia starting in Jan 2008 and will be in operation almost continuously until June 2011.
Ocean Gliders are autonomous underwater vehicles which move vertically and horizontally by adjusting their volume to weight ratio using a pair of fixed wings to steer to depths of up to 2000m. They can record temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll with depth. When the glider is at the surface, it fixes its position via GPS and relays the data collected via the Iridium Satellite system to a shore station and can also receive commands.
Fastwave Communications is an authorised Iridium Value Added Manufacturer, and already provides satellite telemetry services and support for oceanographic research projects conducted by the Australian Commonwealth Science, Industry and Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and the University of Western Australia.