The solar-powered Wave Glider includes an acoustic receiver that tracks the location of sharks. Information from the tags is transmitted along a network of buoys in areas where sharks are known to congregate and connects to an iPhone/iPad app so users also can follow the sharks, as well as view interactive maps and information about them. (Source: Stanford University)
Good question, Chuck. I'm also wondering what portion of the great white population is tagged. If it's a small portion, a reading that says there are no sharks in the area won't indicate any real safety.
Clinton, the Wave Glider is an amazing machine. We included it in our Nautical Robots slideshow: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=246206&image_number=3 It's won world distance records for unmanned devices, traveling more than 3,200 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean. I think it recently broke that distance record. You can check out its specs here: http://liquidr.com/technology/wave-glider-specifications/
The amount of punishment this device will experience out on the open sea will be tremendous. Did they mention any of the provisions or features they included to help it survive? For example, how does the craft right itself after being flipped by waves?
I was totally tongue-in-cheek with a dash of devil's advocate. As a sensors guy, I love this story. I'm especially jazzed about the "Bue Serengeti Initiative". It is difficult to make effective policy and manage resources effectively if all you have to base it on is intuition and gut feeling --- hard data is always the answer. =]
@williamlweaver - based on the world we live in today, you are probably not too far off when you say the great whites will be filing a suit regarding privacy. I'm sure there is an activist group out there who thinks this is just plain wrong/inhumane.
I, however, applaud this effort and hope to see it expanded. We sure could use it up here in Massachusetts.
Why should the location of 7 Billion Humans be the only thing that is tracked? Let's start tracking all of the planet's organisms. That is of course until the Great Whites file a class action law suit for privacy violations. ...why else would Lawyers be called "sharks"?