SeaExplorer successfully conducted its first mission offshore

December 19, 2011 - via ACSA-ALCEN

After a week of sailing in fresh water on Lake Geneva by negative outside temperature, the glider Oceanographic SeaExplorer was launched November 30, 2011, off Nice to lead his first mission offshore. Equipped with a conductivity sensor, temperature and pressure, it should join the Compass buoy located 35 nautical miles towards Corsica.

A few days later, after covering a distance of 70 km and made tens of cycles between the surface and the bottom, the machine has validated its destination point with an error less than 200 meters, despite the weather very unfavorable (over 30 knots of wind, swell 4 meters, and current on the region of 1.5 knots, above its own speed).

It was recovered at night by NO Ifremer's Europe, with metric precision guided using GPS coordinates sent by satellite Iridium gear perfectly stable surface in a raging sea.

This navigation has successfully conducted to validate all functions of the machine and, especially, the effectiveness of its control mode remotely via Iridium satellite communications. Despite a very heavy swell, the glider at each surfacing, managed to contact the control center on land and receive new instructions.

In 2012, two gliders pre series will undergo intensive evaluations through the benefit of the CNRS laboratories of Oceanology of Villefranche-Sur-Mer (LOV) and Marseille (COM), and by the DGA and the IFREMER.

The glider Oceanographic SeaExplorer is the result of cooperation between CASA, IFREMER, LOV, COM, and ACRI, and has been funding FUI obtained through the Pôle Mer PACA. Original in its conception, it is characterized by high modularity and ability to payloads, a rechargeable battery that allows its reconditioning between 2 missions without opening the shell, or weighing operation in the basin. Moreover, due to its hydrodynamic profile, the wings usually encountered on this type of gear were replaced by simple impact resistant fins. Its optimal speed of a node allows it to guarantee a high accuracy navigation in the current, while maximizing the distance traveled for several months of work without recharging. Driven only by ballasting and internal displacement of its batteries, SeaExplorer rotates with a turning radius of only 20 m, with no external moving part, which gives it an unmatched robustness and consumption. Finally, a computer dedicated to open-source management payloads, and a control system for open débrident the system, and allow the user to develop missions at will "tailor".

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