Announcing a new hybrid capability on the Slocum G2 glider! The hybrid capability allows for better glider flight efficiency overall. The hybrid capability is a thruster with a collapsible propeller that folds when the glider is flying in buoyancy only mode and then spins out when engaged. The thruster is mounted below the ejection weight. Teledyne Webb Research (TWR) has changed the basic configuration of the glider to include hybrid capacity in all new G2 gliders. We believe this will be such a useful addition to the gliders capabilities that all our customers will want to add this feature at some point. By building the capability into the base model, the thruster can be easily added at any time by the customer with no need to return the glider to TWR facilities. Existing G2 gliders in the field that were not shipped thruster ready can be upgraded to add the thruster. For this, TWR would need the return of the glider.
Applications of hybrid capability include passage through strong currents. The thruster can overcome 1.5 to 2 knots of current. Without the thruster, more energy may be used overall as the glider fights the current to make its waypoint. Another example of an application would be the passage of a deep glider through a shallow piece of water. Overall efficiency would be maximized by propelling through the shallow water in a straight line with a return to the glider’s sawtooth gliding pattern in deeper water. There would be less energy use in total due to the avoidance of the inefficiencies of a deep glider making repeated shallow dives. Another application is the occasional challenge of varying density layers in the ocean. The combination of the thruster and the new 800cc ballast pump is expected to allow passage through nearly any low density layer a glider might encounter.
External link: http://www.webbresearch.com/newscenter/071813.aspx