Underwater Gliders

The C2PO lab at VIMS operates two Slocum underwater gliders for oceanographic research. The two gliders are named after Amelia Earhart and Dr. Sylvia Earl. Each glider is approximately 6 feet long, a foot and half wide, and weights approximately 150 lbs. The gliders are equipped with GPS and Iridium satellite receiver for global navigation and communication, and altimeter for shallow water operations. Amelia is equipped with a 350 m deep buoyancy pump while Sylvia is equipped with a 200 m buoyancy pump.

Both gliders are equipped with Conductivity-Temperature-Depth sensors, Chlorophyll-a fluorescence, Colored Dissolved Organic Matter fluoresence, optical backscattering at 700 nm, and dissolved oxygen sensors. Both gliders are also equipped with a thruster-based propulsion system for use when the glider are not gliding.

The gliders have been used to explore water masses and circulation in the submarine canyons and the slope sea off the east coast of the U.S. as part of the "Gliderpalooza" project. Both gliders will be deployed in the upcoming summers in the Arctic to study physical and ecosystem coupling in the Beaufort Sea.