Solar and Wave-Powered Wave Glider Survives Hurricane Sandy, Transmits Dramatic Weather Data
Hurricane Sandy has made a lasting impression on the east coast, leaving a trail of destruction behind the winds and rains brought to shore. But off shore, one piece of technology survived without trouble, and provided researchers with real time weather data throughout the storm.
Liquid Robotics writes that one of their Wave Gliders named Mercury not only survived the storm reaching winds of up to 70 knots, but gave researchers a look at the incredible weather information out at sea.
"One hundred miles due east of Toms River, New Jersey, the weather sensors on the Wave Glider gathered dramatic data from the ocean surface, reporting a plunge in barometric pressure of over 54.3 mbars to a low of 946 mbars as Sandy neared landfall," writes the company.
“This is a testament to our robust and reliable technology and proof of its readiness for severe weather data collection," stated Dr. Edward Lu, chief of innovative applications for Liquid Robotics, in a press release. That couldn't be more true considering one of their gliders also survived a shark attack. Sharks, storms... bring it!
Yahoo News notes, "Wave Gliders have already set world records for oceangoing travel by traveling from the West Coast to Hawaii. One pair of robots is headed for Japan with a stop at the Mariana Trench — the deepest place on Earth — while a second pair heads for Australia. The Mercury Wave Glider is part of an ocean-observing project that includes two Sonardyne undersea nodes. Such a project aims to show how both subsea and surface technology can monitor tsunamis in a cost-effective way."
Liquid Robotics doesn't want to simply record weather data -- the company wants to make a difference in how we understand weather, ocean changes and these superstorms.
“In the midst of this epic disaster, Liquid Robotics wishes to express our sympathies for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” said Bill Vass, CEO of Liquid Robotics. “We are working closely with scientists around the world to use the Wave Glider technology for better hurricane, typhoon and tsunami prediction so we can help reduce the risk to human life and property."
It's quite an amazing story when we consider just how damaging Sandy was, and how small and seemingly breakable the Wave Glider is. Mercury proved it is far tougher than it looks, and far more useful than one might guess at first glance.