Alex is one of about 100 Wave Gliders built so far by the company Liquid Robotics. Solar panels on the top of the Wave Glider provide renewable energy to power its data collection equipment, which includes a standard weather station as well as a thermistor chain for measuring below-surface water temperatures up to seven meters deep (thermistor refers to an electrical device for sensing temperature).
Without the need for refueling or resupply, the Wave Glider can remain in continuous action for months at a time.
Solar power is just one part of the secret to the Wave Glider’s mobility. Its platform basically consists of two parts connected in a type of hinge, which enables it to harvest the energy from ocean waves and convert it into forward thrust.
Many Jobs for a Green Robot
Saving human life through more accurate storm and tsunami prediction is just part of the Wave Glider’s job. Earlier this month, CleanTechnica described the launch of Stanford University’s Wave Glider, which will integrate with a network of stationary buoys to improve ocean health monitoring.
Tracking fish populations, monitoring individual sea creatures and collecting data on unusual events such as algae and phytoplankton blooms are a few of the jobs under way for the Wave Glider.
As for durability, Wave Gliders have already encountered and survived hurricane conditions during a Pacific Ocean crossing this summer, which Liquid Robotics is chronicling on its PacX blog, so weathering a bit of bluster from our friend Rush should be a piece of cake.
Green Energy WA - No1 for Solar Energy WA, Solar Hot Water Perth WA, Solar News and Environmental Information www.gewa.com.au
Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1lU0P)