Industry News

Wave Glider Supports Dry Tortugas Fish Study

The Liquid Robotics, Inc. SV3 wave glider is involved in a study fish aggregations in the NOAA Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The wave glider was successfully deployed recently off NOAA Ship Nancy Foster, remotely piloted by Dr. Laurent Chérubin and Engineer Bill Laing of Florida Atlantic University.

The wave glider is equipped with an array of sensors (i.e., CTD, fluorometer, HBOI designed hydrophones, fish tagging transponder, and sonar transducer) to collect oceanographic and acoustic data. While underway, the propulsion is powered by wave energy and solar panels recharge the batteries for the sensors, data acquisition, and navigation.

The project builds on past research and monitoring in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. It focuses on connectivity between the network of marine reserves in the Dry Tortugas region, including the connections between populations of fish in the waters of the Florida Keys, Marquesas, Dry Tortugas National Park, the Tortugas Ecological Reserve North and spawning habitat at Riley's Hump, located within the Tortugas Ecological Reserve South, and surrounding reef habitats including areas such as Warsaw Hole.

The goal of the wave glider mission was to record ambient noise, fish and marine mammal sounds and record oceanographic conditions in the vicinity of spawning grounds for snappers (Cubera and Mutton) in the summer and groupers (Black) in the winter. The new robotic sensing technology is assisting researchers with important conservation measures and making data collection easier and less costly than ever before. The purchase of the wave glider and the engineering efforts to develop and test the sensor package was funded by a grant from the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation.

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