Teledyne Webb Research (TWR) announced today that it has been selected to provide Coastal Gliders for the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). The Slocum G2 gliders will support the Pioneer and the Endurance Arrays of the Coastal and Global Scale Nodes (CGSN) of the OOI. The contract, valued at up to 5.6 million dollars, includes a prototype vehicle to be delivered this year that will incorporate the specific sensor requirements of the CGSN. Production units will be delivered beginning in April 2012. The initial contract award is $260,000. Teledyne Webb Research was chosen by The Consortium for Ocean Leadership and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) to provide the gliders for this project that is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The Slocum G2 gliders are designed for long deployment endurance with the ability to maneuver and operate where the total water depth is less than 30 meters and up to 1000 meters along deeper coastlines. The uniquely modular vehicle construction facilitates both swappable payload bays for a multitude of integrated sensor suites and optimized buoyancy control for various depth regimes.
The Ocean Observatories Initiative is a multi-scale observatory that will utilize a network of sensor systems to collect physical, chemical, geological and biological data from the ocean and the seafloor on coastal, regional and global scales. A unique cyber infrastructure will make the data available to anyone with an internet connection. The information will increase understanding of climate change, ocean and coastal ecosystems, environmental health and climate, and biodiversity.
"Teledyne is very pleased and excited to be part of the OOI team," said Clayton Jones, Senior Director for Technology at Teledyne Webb Research. "Our collective vision is to provide sensor platforms that will allow us to better understand the interior of the world's oceans. The framework of OOI is an outstanding example of such an effort, and we are proud that Slocum gliders will be a key element in the network with their sustained adaptive monitoring capabilities. "
Gliders were first conceived by Douglas Webb, the founder of Webb Research and a former researcher at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). The Slocum G2 Glider is a torpedo-shaped autonomous underwater winged vehicle that measures 1.5 meters and uses changes in buoyancy along with its wings and tail-fin steering to move through the water.
For more information on the Ocean Observatories Initiative visit http://www.oceanleadership.org/programs-and-partnerships/ocean-observing/