Gulper autonomous underwater vehicle
The upper-water-column autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is designed to rapidly acquire multiple large-volume seawater samples at distinct locations throughout the upper water column with “gulper” water samplers. Each gulper contains two liters of volume. When ballasting operations are conducted, the gulpers are full of seawater. Therefore, the AUV will not be able to dive if the gulpers are full of air. They need to be in the “cocked” position before launch, so the upper chambers can fill with seawater when the AUV is launched.
After the mission, these water samples are analyzed either onboard the mother ship or back at the laboratory. An ongoing software effort is developing the capability to trigger the gulpers based on the measurements of other on-board instruments.