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Spray gliders are robotic submarines that navigate underwater without a human crew onboard and without cables connecting them to research vessels at the sea surface. Spray gliders are among a class of ocean instruments known as autonomously operated vehicles, or AUVs. Each Spray Glider is 2 meters (6.5 feet) in length, and has a wingspan of 1.2 meters (3.9 feet).
This glider was photographed on the fantail of the R/V Cape Hatteras prior to launch for the September-October 2004 mission from Cape Cod, Mass. to Bermuda. The black cable was disconnected from a laptop computer after the glider's computers received final mission instructions (Jane Dunworth-Baker, WHOI)