USA: Bluefin Spray Glider Completes Two-Month Deployment at Pulley Ridge
Bluefin Robotics announces that the Bluefin Spray Glider recently completed a two-month deployment conducted by the Glider Research and Operations Center (GROC) at FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI).
The Spray Glider operations took place at Pulley Ridge near the West Florida Shelf in approximately 60 meters water depth. It performed 3,200 dives over 100 kilometers distance. In addition to the Spray’s high quality conductivity, temperature and depth payload, the system was equipped with optical scattering and chlorophyll sensors.
Spray Glider on board with HBOI“The Spray Glider is an ideal platform for ocean monitoring over large areas and in diverse environments. This mission took place in shallow water; the next one will be in waters close to a mile deep. The Spray Glider’s combination of endurance, depth-capability, reliability and payload capacity fills the exact needs of oceanographic research and monitoring,” said Fraser Dalgleish, Ph.D., Director of the Ocean Visibility and Optics Lab at HBOI. “The data acquired are providing valuable information about the large scale distribution of plankton and larval populations and the next mission will allow us to venture into much deeper waters with two Spray units to also determine background hydrocarbon levels around these deep coral reef ecosystems.”
The deployment was in support of the Florida Shelf Edge Exploration (FLOSEE-II) expedition led by HBOI. The expedition objectives were to locate and characterize coral reefs that are so deep that natural light barely reaches them. The scientists focused on coral communities and commercial fish species on these reefs. They also collected data about the effectiveness of marine managed areas for ecosystem restoration, and took samples to test for the presence of hydrocarbons.
Results of this cruise will be presented by HBOI researchers at The American Geophysical Union’s Ocean Sciences Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah in February 2012.
ABOUT BLUEFIN ROBOTICS
Bluefin Robotics designs, manufactures and operates Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) systems and related technology. Founded in 1997, the company has grown to become a world leader in AUV products designed for defense, commercial, and scientific applications. Bluefin Robotics is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Battelle.
ABOUT HARBOR BRANCH OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTE
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University is a research institute dedicated to exploration, innovation, conservation and education related to the oceans. Harbor Branch was founded in 1971 as a private non-profit organization. In December 2007, Harbor Branch joined Florida Atlantic University. The institute specializes in ocean engineering, at-sea operations, drug discovery and biotechnology from the oceans, coastal ecology and conservation, marine mammal research and conservation, aquaculture, and marine education.
ABOUT FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Subsea World News Staff , December 20, 2011; Image: Bluefin Robotics