Latest missions

    This is what a Glider looks like on the inside!

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    BETTERIES They can be lithium or alkaline batteries, and provide power for the glider. The batteries also move back and forth inside the glider. If they move forward, they help it sink. If they move backward, they help it go up.
    NAVIGATION BAY This is the part of the processor in charge of the glider's navigation device.
    PISTON It fills up and releases water, making the glider dive down or come up. When it fills up, down goes the glider. When it empties out, that space fills up with air and makes the glider float to the surface.
    SCIENCE BAY This is the part of the processor in charge of the scientific sensors.


    Underwater gliders are autonomous vehicles which are revolutionising oceanographic research today since they make it possible to monitor the sea state in real time.  Gliders are equipped with sensors to gain information about physicochemical parameters form the seawater.  Gliders are capable of collecting data relating to conductivity, temperature, depth, chlorophyll and oxygen via their sensors over long periods.



    Gliders have become great allies for researchers because their main advantage is that they complete missions autonomously with durations of weeks, or months, so that data about marine currents can be collected at a much higher resolution, in real time and at a lower cost than surveys carried out by ocean research vessels.  It is a monitoring system which works continuously even in extreme conditions.  Another big advantage is that they can explore without the need for an engine or propeller and they consume very little energy.



    Gliders are autonomous vehicles which are operated remotely, from the laboratory, where engineers enter the mission’s instructions to the operating system (such as the route, the depth or the data it should collect, among others).

    Once the glider has been prepared it is launched at sea to initiate its mission.  In the water the glider travels by gliding thanks to buoyancy control achieved by a system which empties and fills an interior piston, this allows it to emerge and submerge making vertical movements in the water column.

    Each underwater glider incorporates instruments for measuring temperature, salinity, oxygen concentration, chlorophyll levels and turbidity of the seawater.  The data it collects is periodically sent to the data centre by means of its antenna.  This antenna enables the glider to receive new instructions in the event it should have to alter its course.  At the end of the mission the glider is collected thanks to a GPS locator which transmits its position continuously.

    Find out more about glider here



    Glider Facility is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER)