THURSDAY 30 SEPTEMBER, 2010 |
Solar Powered Aquatic Robot Wins WSJ Award
The wave and solar powered Wave Glider, an unmanned maritime vehicle, was
recently announced the winner of the Wall Street Journal's 2010 Technology Innovation Award for
Produced by California-based Liquid Robotics, the UMV consists of a surface buoy and a submerged glider with wing-shaped
panels that convert the motion of waves into forward thrust. Coupled with two 43
watt solar panels, the craft can be propelled indefinitely without requiring
batteries or other sources of power. The Wave Gliderís navigation, control, and communications systems require only 0.7 Watts of (averaged)
The Wave Glider is designed to support a wide variety of sensor payloads. The
oceanic robots are controlled via a web-based interface and data is
transmitted to shore via satellite. Payloads already used include passive acoustics for marine mammal
monitoring and common meteorological and oceanographic (METOC) sensors.
says the Wave Glider enables more efficient and comprehensive ocean exploration, research and
monitoring and can support all phases of offshore renewable energy projects.
In operation in the field since 2008, Wave Gliders have logged well over 100,000
miles of operations to date and demonstrated voyages of over 2500 miles lasting
over 400 days. The robots have endured adverse conditions such as winds above 50 knots, swells exceeding 18 feet and
peak wave heights of over 21 feet.
Wave Glider was also recently used during the BP
oil spill disaster
to monitor conditions in the Gulf of
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