A graphic shows wind speed data from Hurricane Isaac recorded by a Wave Glider robot in the Gulf of Mexico during the storm. The Wave Glider, developed by Liquid Robotics and launched by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is a seven-foot-long surfboard with a solar-powered boat propulsion system and sensors to collect oceanographic and weather data. (Source: Liquid Robotics)
Sounds like there is huge potential for these robots to become part of some kind of active tracking system deployed throughout our oceans and waterways as part of monitoring storms and other possible natural disasters. Only question I guess is who foots the bill.
Great idea, but good luck getting government funding in this political climate. It would be a natural addition to systems already put in place to track tsunamis, say, outside of Hawaii, or monitoring the water heights near the levees in New Orleans.
Counting on the government to accomplish a long term project correctly is an iffy situation at best. An organised group of private individuals with a common intrest gives you a better chance of long term continuity of goals. Including lobying for government fundig where applicable.
The Gulf is one of several locations where NOAA has deployed tsunami tracking devices. According to this NOAA website
the real-time monitoring systems, called DART, are also deployed in the Pacific and Indian Ocean basins. Wave Glider looks like a good candidate for replacing the buoy/sensor combo currently used.
Living in South Florida, we're particularly cognizant of much of the NOAA and National Hurricane Center activities, as they are news-reeled on a regular basis each time a Hurricane meanders across the Atlantic basin. Knowing that both are government funded agencies, and also being somewhat familiar with the predictive technologies they routinely leverage, these waveboard mechanisms may encounter a surge in agency deployments considering this one's robust survival and demonstrated capability during/after Isaac. ( Wonder if we know the Stocker Ticker Symbol-? )
Jim, interesting perspective from someone right there in the heart of the action. I agree with the potential for Wave Glider's adoption by government agencies. So does its manufacturer, Liquid Robotics. Last month the company created a wholly owned federal subsidiary for selling to the US government.