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Underwater Robots Deployed in NOAA Hurricane Study

Underwater Glider to Collect Data (Courtesy NOAA/MarineLink.com) Underwater Glider to Collect Data (Courtesy NOAA/MarineLink.com)

Good Thursday morning! We will continue the theme of discussing hurricanes today... as a fleet of underwater robots is descending into waters off the east coast to collect data that could help improve storm intensity forecasts during future hurricane seasons.

The NOAA-led U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) is deploying 12-16 autonomous underwater robotic vehicles… also known as gliders… from Nova Scotia to Georgia.

The gliders will be available through the peak fall Atlantic storm season to collect data on ocean conditions… which will help improve scientists' understanding of hurricanes and pave the way for future improvements in hurricane intensity forecasts.

The unmanned gliders will collect data even in the middle of the storm and eventually provide this information to NOAA's National Weather Service to help improve forecast precision so decision makers can keep people safe.

Scientists will deploy the first gliders in the fleet this month and continue deploying from different locations throughout the next two to three weeks. Each glider will be deployed for three to eight weeks… collecting data into October.

The underwater gliders can travel thousands of miles and continuously collect and send back ocean data. They can operate for several months at a time and can dive repeatedly to collect three-dimensional ocean observations.

During the mission… the gliders will also collect acoustic data about fish and mammal migrations to improve the understanding of their behaviors.

Collected glider data will go through NOAA's National Data Buoy Center to NOAA's National Weather Service… the U.S. Navy and other data users for modeling. Data from the glider missions will also be public and available on the IOOS Glider Asset Map and at http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/gliders.php.

Pretty cool stuff! Hope you have a great Thursday!

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