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Wave gliders

Tasting Salt

WHOI physical oceanographer Dave Fratantoni inspected one of several wave gliders on the deck of R/V Knorr recently. These three will be deployed later this month during the NASA-sponsored SPURS expedition to the salinity maximum zone in the North Atlantic to gain a better understanding of the global water cycle. The vehicles use wave motion to propel themselves through the ocean and solar-charged batteries to power their sensors, which will measure temperature, salinity, and meteorological conditions. Some of the other instruments to be deployed, including autonomous gliders, sensor-laden buoys and unmanned underwater vehicles, will be collected before completion of the expedition, but others, like the wave gliders, will remain in place for a year or more, providing scientists with data on seasonal variations of salinity. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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