The Sailbuoy invented at Christian Michelsen Research and now put into production by Offshore Sensing AS, is one of the tested autonomous underwater vehicles in The Glider Unmanned Ocean Exploration Project 2017.
The GLIDER Project forms part of the Norwegian Research Council DEMO2000 and is being managed by Akvaplan-niva. The GLIDER project will launch three types of ocean-going, self-propelled and dynamic platforms (also called drones). Unmanned ocean vehicles collect field data and send it via satellite on shore.
The 3 platforms are the Sea-Glider (produced by Kongsberg), the Sailbuoy (manufactured by Offshore Sensing a company in the CMR Group, Christian Michelsen Research) and a Wave Glider (manufactured by Maritime Robotics). These platforms is equipped with selected sensors for collecting chemical, physical and biological data from the ocean. This observation program will collect marine environmental data to an increased extent and with improved accuracy compared to traditional collection method.
By using platforms that will be moving in time and space, data collection will become more flexible, and this will in turn result in both long time series and opportunity for continuous environmental monitoring, as well as cost-saving compared to traditional data collection methods.
CMR also lead the activity to develop a platform for data management. This will be developed in consultation between researchers and consultants (including engineers) to ensure that the data will be interpreted and used by various end users (including oil and gas industry, fisheries industry, aquaculture industry, mining industry, and government).
The GLIDER project has demonstrated this concept by launching one of each type of these platforms in Lofoten-Vesterålen in august 2017.
Now next step is coming up: A ride into the north-eastern part of the Barents Sea, and the platforms will operate long term (several months) and over large geographic areas. The purpose of this concept is to provide basic data for operating concessions, professional solutions for industries operating in marine areas, and generally to increase the knowledge level of the ecosystem structure and function. Last but not least, data collected through the GLIDER project will act as background data in existing ecological models and ocean flow models.