In the fall of 2011, OTN began testing of the Wave Glider as a way to remotely offload data from Vemco VR4 acoustic receiver stations. This unmanned maritime vehicle, developed by Liquid Robotics of Sunnyvale, California, harvests wave energy for propulsion and is equipped with solar panels to provide electricity to power sensors and other equipment.
Working together with Vemco, the Wave Glider was equipped with an acoustic modem and transducer to remotely offload data from the surface.
VR4 communications tests during missions on the Halifax Line in October 2011 were promising. The Wave Glider was able to hold station and successfully offload data at a distance of up to 800 m from the station.
The Wave Glider is able to transmit data via satellite and can be piloted remotely via a satellite link. During communications testing on the Halifax Line last fall, the Wave Glider was piloted by Liquid Robotics’ pilots in Hawaii. Powered soley by the elements, the Wave Glider can remain at sea for extended periods of time. The goal is to have the glider autonomously traverse the length of the entire line, offloading data and then returning to a pickup location, thus reducing manpower and ship time.
A second round of OTN Wave Glider testing is planned for the summer of 2012. The glider will be launched off New Brunswick and travel through the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Strait of Belle Isle. Equipped with a Vemco acoustic receiver for this mission, the Wave Glider will collect detections of tagged fish that it encounters along the way. The glider will also be sampling the ocean surface layer for oceanographic parameters. During this mission, the Wave Glider will again be piloted via satellite link from Hawaii.
Read more about the Wave Glider on the Liquid Robotics website
View more photos or watch a YouTube video in the OTN Multimedia Gallery
Story by Susan Dufault, OTN Headquarters