Thursday, 15 March 2012

 Great news out of Hawai’i (as if that’s a shocker) – Liquid Robotics, an ocean data services provider and the team behind the first wave-powered PacX Wave Glider robots, has announced that their fleet of marine bots has broken the Guinness Book World record for distance traveled by an unmanned wave powered vehicle.
The Wave Glider robots arrived in Hawai’i on the first leg of their 9,000 nautical mile journey across the Pacific Ocean. They traveled a whopping 3,200 miles, which crushes the previous world distance record of 2,500 miles.
“We are proud our PacX Wave Gliders have reached their first destination and broken the world record,” said Edward Lu, Chief of Innovative Applications at Liquid Robotics. “I have no doubt new ocean discoveries, insights, and applications will emerge from the PacX data set.”
Specs
Each Wave Glider is composed of two halves: the upper part looks kind of like a stunted surfboard and is attached by a cable to a lower part, which features a keel and series of fins. To move, the bots use the mechanical conversion of wave energy into forward propulsion (as opposed to fuel).
The float portion of the Wave Gliders measures 208 cm x 60 cm; the glider measures 40 cm x 191 cm; and the wings are 107 cm wide.
In terms of its weight and buoyancy, the Wave Glider’s mass is 90 kg and its displacement is 150 kg. It can travel anywhere between 0.4 knots and 2.0 knots.
There is a lithium-ion rechargeable battery on-board each bot, with 665 watt-hours available. It’s powered by solar panels located on the upper surface of the gliders, with 80 watts (peak) for battery charging, onboard electronics and payloads. Included in the onboard electronics are numerous sensors that take readings every 10 minutes, measuring salinity, water temperature, weather, fluorescence, and dissolved oxygen.
As far as safety is concerned, there is a shore-activated market light and RF beacon on-bard for emergency location of the robots. There are also pressure, temperature, and leak sensors in dry boxes on board. Individual batteries are isolated from one another, and there’s an automatic charge/discharge cut-off (temperature/voltage). Should the bots come accidentally become entangled with any marine life, a passive pressure-actuated release will separate the float from tether and glider.
Not an easy trip
The marine robots were launched on November 17, 2011 out of the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco Bay. Since then, they’ve endured 26-foot waves in gale force storm and traveled against turbulent mid-ocean currents.
As mentioned earlier, this is just the first leg of a 9,000 nautical mile journey. After their break, the four PacX Wave Gliders will be broken up into teams of two for the second half of their journey, with one team heading to Australia and the other to Japan. They’ll pass over the Mariana Trench, whereupon one team will then have to deal with the notorious Kuroshio Current on their way to Japan, while the other will cross the equator as they head down south to Australia.
Both teams are expected to arrive at their destinations late in 2012 or early 2013.
Interesting note
All of the Wave Gliders were named after famous oceanographers and discoverers. One of them, “Papa Mau” (the “way finder”) was named after the Micronesian navigator, Pius “Mau” Pialiug, who taught traditional, non-instrument way-finding methods for deep-sea voyaging.
So far, the Papa Mau bot has lived up to its name – it’s navigating to port without any instruments whatsoever (due to satellite communication disruption). It was able to stay on path using its original coordinates and stars for reference.

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Heaven Of Professional Bloggers:JOIN HERE

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Copyright © 2013 Technodhuniah:Information Technology|Powered by Blogger