Underwater gliders are autonomous vehicles that profiles (i.e. moves up and down the water column) by changing its buoyancy while deployed. The attached wings provide lift during its profile, allowing them to move horizontally as well. They send back data via satellite each time they are at the surface, and can be navigated from shore. Depending on the mission and sensor payload, gliders can be deployed for months on a single battery pack. These traits make underwater gliders an effective platform to collect sustained, high spatiotemporal resolution observations, particularly in the coastal ocean. However, scalable, commercially available biogeochemical sensors are not readily available for glider operations.

This project aims to develop biogeochemical sensors for underwater gliders. For example, we have adopted the Deep-Sea-DuraFET (DSD) pH sensor, originally developed for profiling floats, for Spray gliders. We are currently working on integrating a radiometer to measure light penetration through the water, and a nitrate sensor for glider operations. We routinely operate two gliders in and near Monterey Bay to continuously assess sensor performance, and to study coastal biogeochemical processes.

Figure from Takeshita et al. 2021.
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Takeshita, Y., B.D. Jones, K.S. Johnson, F.P. Chavez, D.L. Rudnick, M. Blum, K. Conner, S. Jensen, J.S. Long, T. Maughan, K.L. Mertz, J.T. Sherman, and J.K. Warren. 2021. Accurate pH and O2 measurements from Spray underwater gliders. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 38: 181–195. https://doi.org/10.1175/JTECH-D-20-0095.1

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