Five miles offshore from the Golden Nugget casino, Michael F. Crowley, a marine scientist at Rutgers University, heaves three lifeboat-yellow drones off the back of his research vessel. The gliders, as he calls them, are winged and propellerless, like miniature Tomahawk missiles. Two are on loan from the Navy, and one, Rutgers’ own, is pockmarked from a past shark attack. As they slink into the Atlantic to begin a monthlong mission, they join a fleet of 12 others across the Eastern Seaboard, from Nova Scotia to Georgia. These drones are the centerpiece of "Gliderpalooza," a collaborative ocean-survey experiment coordinated by 16 American and Canadian government agencies and research teams. By pooling their resources, including satellites, radar stations, research buoys and the gliders, the teams hope to capture the most complete picture yet of the Atlantic’s many mysterious underwater movements – from deepwater currents to migrating fish.
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