During the test, scientists focused on coral communities and commercial fish species in Florida’s offshore reefs.
Bluefin Robotics announced that its Bluefin Spray Glider recently completed a two-month deployment conducted by the Glider Research and Operations Center (GROC) at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI).
The Spray Glider operations took place at Pully Ridge near the West Florida Shelf in approximately 60 meters water depth. The glider performed 3,200 dives over 100 kilometers distance. In addition to the Spray’s high quality conductivity, temperature and depth payload, the system was equipped with optical scattering and chlorophyll sensors.
“The Spray Glider is an ideal platform for ocean monitoring over large areas and in diverse environments. This mission took place in shallow water; the next one will be in waters close to a mile deep. The Spray Glider’s combination of endurance, depth-capability, reliability and payload capacity fills the exact needs of oceanographic research and monitoring,” said Fraser Dalgleish, Ph.D., director of the Ocean Visibility and Optics Lab at HBOI. “The data acquired are providing valuable information about the large scale distribution of plankton and larval populations, and the next mission will allow us to venture into much
deeper waters with two Spray units to also determine background hydrocarbon levels around these deep coral reef ecosystems.”
The deployment was in support of the Florida Shelf Edge Exploration (FLOSEE-II) expedition led by HBOI. The expedition objectives were to locate and characterize coral reefs that are so deep that natural light barely reaches them. The scientists focused on coral communities and commercial fish species on
these reefs. They also collected data about the effectiveness of marine managed areas for ecosystem restoration, and took samples to test for the presence of hydrocarbons.
Results of this cruise will be presented by HBOI researchers at The American Geophysical Union’s Ocean Sciences Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah this February.
SOURCE: Bluefin Robotics
RELATED: Florida Atlantic University, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute,