Ocean Glider Challenger Sets Sail To Sri Lanka From Australia

Ocean Glider Challenger Sets Sail To Sri Lanka From Australia
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An ocean glider named Challenger has set sail for Sri Lanka departing the Western Australia port of Fremantle on the longest attempted journey by an autonomous underwater vehicle. The Challenger Glider Mission will capture and communicate unprecedented undersea data and help determine how changes in currents, temperatures and salinity affect weather patterns and give scientists a deeper understanding into the mysteries of a changing climate.

This was designed and built by a team of researchers at the University of Western Australia.

Its journey from Fremantle to Galle, Sri Lanka will take roughly 12 months.

If successful, the mini sub will attempt to circumnavigate the rim of the Indian Ocean, a two-year endeavour.

Challenger is designed to travel in a saw-tooth fashion, zig-zagging at a pace of roughly 15 to 20 miles per day, or a little less than a mile per hour.

Along the way, the glider will collect a variety of ocean data, including current, temperature and salinity measurements.

Researchers hope the data will give them a better grasp on climate change’s affects on the ocean.

Challenger is a Teledyne Webb Slocum electric glider, measuring just more than 7 feet in length.

Scientists on the project won’t have to wait long to get started on data analysis; the glider will soon begin delivering data in nearly real time, sending observations to satellites each time it surfaces.

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