ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Throughout society, the use of robots for work too difficult or costly for humans has increased dramatically in recent decades. In the marine environment, one such platform, the autonomous underwater profiling glider, is tailored to efficiently collect data throughout the water column, over weeks to months while traversing hundreds to thousands of kilometers while sending valuable data back to researchers several times a day.
USF's glider fleet has been used over the past six years to monitor a wide variety of oceanographic research. From harmful algal blooms to circulation model and satellite imagery validation to grouper population monitoring and tracking tagged sharks to searching for dispersed oil during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we have hundreds of glider days collecting a suite of sensor data. One new area of potential research is the use of these robots during hurricanes.