UV - Unmanned Vehicles

Ocean observation network for Japan

5th August 2016 - 15:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Liquid Robotics and Hydro Systems Development (HSD) have delivered the first fleet of Wave Glider unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) to the Japan Coast Guard, it was announced on 3 August.

The eight Wave Gliders will be deployed on a multi-year mission to provide autonomous observation and situational awareness of ocean currents, wave activity, and weather along Japan’s coastlines. Data collected by the fleet will provide real-time information for the coast guard’s operational use.

Wave Gliders are long-duration (up to one year) USVs designed to collect and communicate real-time ocean data without using fuel. The system works by converting wave motion into forward propulsion, and by collecting and storing solar energy for extra power and precision in challenging ocean conditions, such as high currents and cyclones. Seven modular bays house plug-and-play payloads and collected data is communicated via satellite, cell network or Wi-Fi. 

Gary Gysin, president and CEO, Liquid Robotics, said: 'It is an honour to assist the Japan Coast Guard with helping protect their coastal environments and populations against natural emergencies and to enhance their understanding of their coastal seas. Together with HSD, we will partner to bring real-time, actionable intelligence to help the Japan Coast Guard safeguard their seas.'

Japanese company HSD has led a number of Liquid Robotics-supported Wave Glider missions, including typhoon tracking, tsunami detection, and general oceanographic studies. The USVs recorded long-term, time-series data information that has led to a better understanding of the environmental conditions in and around Japan.
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