Glider operations

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Glider in the water. Image courtesy of the National Oceanography Centre©

Gliders are buoyancy driven autonomous vehicles, which undertake measurements throughout the water column for several months at a time. Measurements include temperature, salinity, pressure, levels of oxygen and ocean colour (i.e. algae, near the surface or stirred up sediment). The gliders transmit their data to the lab via satellite on a daily basis or a pilot can remotely control the gilder's position.

BODC are committed to the provision of robust data management support for all UK ocean glider activities. To achieve this we are working closely with glider teams in the UK, as well as with end users of glider data, such as the UK Met Office. Ongoing collaboration with the international community, through the Everyone's Gliding Observatories (EGO) initiative and associated projects, is enabling us to develop and maintain a glider data management model in synergy with the wider community. Key elements of the proposed glider data management model include:

  • Near real-time ingestion of glider data to BODC for secure archiving.
  • Near real-time quality control and reformatting to EGO specifications. Delivery to stakeholders, including via the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) and the EGO-established Global Data Assembly Centre (GDAC) for glider observations, Coriolis.
  • Assimilation of a 'definitive' calibrated time series from each glider deployment into the National Oceanographic Database (NODB) and delivery to the GDAC.

UK-OSNAP uses seagliders to collect and transmit data from Scotland to 2000 km westward into the Atlantic Ocean. The project aims to use three glider instruments, initially launched in the Hatton-Rockall Basin, to provide a continuous record of measurement throughout the observational period (2014 - 2018):

  • BOWMORE (SG 605)
  • JURA (SG 604)
  • SCAPA  (SG 602)

Their current status can be seen on the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) gliders web page.