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Liquid Robotics launches new version of its Wave Glider unmanned marine vessel

Company says the “enhanced platform” extends operations in high sea states and high latitudes

Liquid Robotics, a producer of unmanned surface marine vessels, has launched the next generation of its Wave Glider.

The new version adds advancements to the platform’s operational range, and performance for missions in high sea states and high latitudes, says the company.

Changes also include advancements for expanded sensor payloads and increased energy and storage capacity required for long duration maritime surveillance, environmental monitoring and observation missions. 

Roger Hine, CTO and co-founder, Liquid Robotics, says: “From the very first Wave Glider we’ve had a passion and relentless commitment to make the world’s best unmanned ocean robot.

“With our next generation Wave Glider, we’ve applied learning from approximately 100 years of cumulative water time to enhance an already well-proven design. The result is our Wave Gliders are better prepared than ever before to tackle the dull and dangerous missions.”

Customers conducting exploration and surveillance missions in challenging environments are using Wave Gliders to collect and communicate data from locations too remote or too dangerous for manned systems.

Operating through a wide range of conditions and oceans around the world, including the Arctic (latitude of 78.76N) and Southern Ocean (latitude of 64.8S), this new version builds on the current platform capabilities with the following innovations:

  • Performance in high sea states (sea state 6 and greater)
  • Advanced navigation in high latitudes (ex: Arctic and Antarctica)
  • Supports 30 per cent heavier payloads to enable new sensors and missions
  • 15 per cent greater power collection and 40 per cent more battery storage extends operational range and support for larger sensor payloads
  • Anti-biofouling copper coating improves system performance and simplifies maintenance

Dr Eric Terrill of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, says: “As we prepared for our deployment in the Southern Ocean, one of the most inhospitable ocean regions on the planet, it was clear that a successful mission required the next generation Wave Glider enhancements to provide reliable operations across the full spectrum of high seas we would encounter.

“We’ve worked with early versions of this platform off the coast of Iceland for an extreme seas study, and the Wave Glider performed admirably even in seas in excess of 10 meters (sea state 8), so we knew for peace of mind, our Southern Ocean project would require a similar configuration.”

For existing customers, an upgrade kit has been developed to expand the capabilities of their existing Wave Glider to match those of the new platform.

All sensor integration validated on the current platform is compatible with the new system without new certification. General availability for this new version is October 2017.

Liquid Robotics is part of the Boeing group.