Last fall Rutgers University ocean researcher Oscar Schofield headed a collaborative experiment called Gliderpalooza, which coordinated 15 aquatic, submersible research drones to sample the deep waters off the coastal Atlantic. About 5 feet long and shaped like tomahawk missiles, the gliders beam home their data every time they surface. The propellerless drones, jam-packed with scientific instruments, swim by changing their buoyancy – taking on and expelling a soda can’s worth of water to sink and float…"Right now the Navy is at the forefront of this technology," Schofield says, "and the Office of Naval Research really funded and developed these gliders in the first place." The Navy currently owns 65 of the same kind of gliders Schofield operates, with plans to expand to 150 by 2015.
/ / / How Scientific Sea Drones Are Becoming the Eyes of the Navy