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News Link • Underwater Exploration and Living

Underwater drones to map world's oceans

•, By Rhiannon Williams
 The 16 unmanned submarines will explore the world's oceans as part of a research project by Rutgers University.

Each 2.2 metre-long glider will rely on the energy from buoyancy changes to propel it forwards at speeds of around 35 km per day as it navigates using altitude and depth sensors, a GPS receiver and altimeter.

The drones will continually collect data about the oceans' currents, temperature and salinity to improve the accuracy of current climate and weather forecasting. Levels of phytoplankton around the vehicles will also be monitored using sustainable optic sensors.

The data will be transmitted to the research time via a telecommunications link provided by Iridium satellites every time each submarine surfaces.

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