ECM Faculty Focus
The Faculty is delighted to offer our congratulations to Charitha Pattiaratchi, Winthrop Professor of Coastal Oceanography and Leader of Coastal Oceanography Group, for receiving AU$ 1.5 million funding for the purchase of additional gliders.
The recently announced 2009-10 Federal budget is providing an additional AU$ 52M for extending and enhancing Australia's Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) as part of the Marine and Climate Super Science Initiative.
IMOS was established as part of NCRIS (National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy) funding and UWA hosts the Australian National Facility for Ocean Gliders (ANFOG). As part of the additional funding, ANFOG will receive $1.5 million in 09/10 financial year for the purchase of additional gliders for deployments in the southern ocean and offshore of the Great Barrier Reef. An additional four gliders will be purchased to supplement the existing nine gliders.
Ocean gliders are autonomous vehicles designed to operate in water depths up to 1000 m. By changing its buoyancy, the glider is able to descend and ascend. This momentum is converted to forward motion by its wings. Pitch adjustments are made by moving an internal mass (battery pack) and steering is done using a rudder and/or battery packs.
Moving at an average horizontal velocity of 25 - 40 cm s-1 the glider navigates its way to a series of pre-programmed waypoints using GPS, internal dead reckoning and altimeter measurements. The glider path is also influenced by the prevailing current regime.
The gliders are programmed to provide data through satellite communication when it is at the surface and it is also possible to control the path of the glider during its mission. ANFOG deploys gliders across Australia, which are controlled remotely at UWA.