A sea based set of ocean gliders were released off of the coast of Richards Bay on 25 June 2017.
The SV3 waveglider and the Seaglider are collecting data and spent some time east of Durban. The scientific team operating these gliders kept them in this region for a few days before directing them southward to sample the coastal and shelf regions between Durban and East London. The deployments were made from the SAIAB operated R.V Phakisa with support from the SAIAB sea-going team.
Like drones, ocean gliders are autonomous robotic platforms which can be piloted from land. The SV3 Liquid Robotic Waveglider and a Seaglider are on a 2 month journey from Richards Bay to Port Elizabeth. Throughout their southward journey the two gliders will measure a range of oceanic parameters. The collected information will in turn be used by marine scientists to improve our knowledge of how the Agulhas Current influences the coastal regions along the South African eastern shores. The glider will be monitored 24/7 by a team of pilots at SAMERC.
The scientists directing these drones ask that should you come across this platform between Richards Bay and Port Elizabeth, to please NOT interfere with them as it would compromise the Gliders IN the Agulhas (GINA) project. The gliders are being monitored 24/7 by the team of pilots.
The study should also be of interest to mariners who take advantage of the Agulhas current to hasten their passage down the coast towards Port Elizabeth and sailors taking part in the annual Vasco Da Gama Ocean Race from Durban to Port Elizabeth’s Algoa Bay Yacht Club.
More info: http://socco.org.za/gina/
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