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Autonomous glider robot safeguards whale pods

Darren Murph

We've all heard the diehards claiming that the whales are the ones we should save, and thanks to an autonomous glider crafted by Webb Research, they're finally getting their wish. Recently, a trial was pursued in which a radio / satellite phone-equipped Slocum Glider was sent up to 200-meters beneath the depths in order to survey, pinpoint, and record location data for various whale pods swimming about. The device then surfaces and "phones home" the recently gathered information, which can then be disseminated out to ensure nearby vessels don't enter whale-packed territories. Jim Theriault of Defense Research and Development Canada, Dartmouth ran the experiment, and noted that this iteration of whale sensing and reporting improved on previous attempts by being uber-stealthy, featuring a remote data reporting system, and boasting a signal processor capable of tracking even the baleen whale's "lower-frequency call." Currently, the torpedo runs on batteries which last a month or so without needing a recharge, but future renditions are planned to scour the waters for "between five months and a year" by utilizing a special recharging gel. Look for these to hit your nearest ocean later this summer, and try not to be too alarmed when it surfaces beside your craft.

[Via The Raw Feed]

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