The SAMS Seaglider is a high-endurance UUV (Unmanned Underwater Vehicle). This autonomous instrument will start measuring seawater properties between Scotland and Iceland in 2009.
Unlike typical UUVs, gliders do not have a propeller or a steerable rudder but use changes in buoyancy and internal mass shifting to travel through the water down to 1000m. This design, along with the hydrodynamic shape, minimises the power consumption and makes the glider relatively slow (average speed of ½ knot), but able to run continuously for over 6 months and travel thousands of kilometres. When deployed, the Seaglider will transmit its data daily to SAMS via Iridium satellites. It is also by this mean of communications that pilots will send instructions to the instrument on where to go, how deep to dive, etc. The glider will be used as part of the ELLETT LINE project, to monitor one of the major gateways for exchange between the Nordic Seas and the North Atlantic Ocean.
Still undergoing local trials, our glider will be deployed on the Ellett Line in the coming months.