Seaglider is an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) developed for continuous, long term measurement of oceanographic parameters. Rather than an electrically driven propeller, the vehicle uses small changes in buoyancy and wings to achieve forward motion. The vehicle attitude is controlled using adjustable ballast (the vehicle battery).
The Seaglider moves through the water in a saw-tooth like pattern and surfaces often to determine its position and to transmit collected data and receive commands via satellite telemetry. Navigation is accomplished using a combination of GPS fixes while on the surface and internal sensors that monitor the vehicle heading, depth and attitude during dives.
Seaglider is a powerful data collection tool and incorporates external sensors that constantly scan the ocean to determine water or environmental properties. Potential applications include physical/chemical/biological oceanography, tactical oceanography, intelligence/surveillance/reconnaissance, environmental monitoring, fisheries research and many more.