First Liquid Robotics Wave Glider deployed from Africa, in support of CSIR’s SOCCO program - Sea Technology Services
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First Liquid Robotics Wave Glider deployed from Africa, in support of CSIR’s SOCCO program

Fair winds and following seas to CSIR#1, the first Liquid Robotics Wave Glider deployed from Africa!

CSIR#1 started its maiden voyage from Hout Bay, Cape Town, and is making steady progress towards the continental shelf-break 65NM due west of Cape Town. 

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Wave Gliders offer an innovative approach to provide self-powered autonomous ocean vehicles and sensor platforms, harnessing wave energy to provide essentially limitless forward propulsion, independent of wave direction (see video of Wave Glider propulsion system) and using solar energy for powering their navigation and control electronics, satellite communications and science instrumentation.

CSIR#1 is owned by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), with Sea Technology Services providing the operational and engineering support (logistics, sea testing, operating, piloting and maintenance). The Wave Glider will be remotely piloted from the new Southern Ocean Engineering R&D Centre (SOERDC) in Cape Town, during the present test deployment and its six month long journey to the Southern Ocean later this year, in support of the SOCCO program.

This is the first time measurements of the Southern Ocean are being made on this scale,” says Dr Pedro Monteiro, head of the Southern Ocean Carbon-Climate Observatory (SOCCO) in a recent article in Business Day.

The current deployment off Hout Bay will see CSIR#1 at sea for a month, undergoing testing, pilot training and assessments of its:

a) propulsion, navigation, control and communications systems
b) storm handling capabilities
c) scientific instrumentation payload

I. NOAA PMEL MAPCO2 carbon analysing system (atmospheric & ocean carbon levels)
II. SeaFET pH sensor (ocean acidity)
III. Sea-Bird PRAWLER CTD (temperature and salinity)
IV. Sea-Bird SBE-63 Dissolved Oxygen sensor 
V. Sea-Bird SBE-56 Temperature recorder