BP Deploying Armada Of Unmanned Drone Boats – Called Wave Gliders – To Monitor BP Gulf Oil Spill


Breaking News: BP has announced it will deploy an armada of unmanned drone boats – called Wave Gliders – to monitor the BP Gulf Oil Spill.

These unmanned marine robots run completely off of wave action and solar power and will be deployed for years at a time to monitor water quality, marine mammal vocalizations and weather and water temperature data.

Is this good news? Will BP published the data it collects?

Or will any oil detected just be reported to their mercenaries who will spray the oil with dispersantsand continue the cover up?

Via BP.com

BP Deploying Advanced Unmanned Water Quality Monitoring Vehicles in Gulf of Mexico

Release date: 25 August 2010

THEODORE, AL – As part of its long term monitoring and research program in the Gulf of Mexico, BP is deploying a new technology that will enable nearly constant monitoring by two satellite-controlled, unmanned vehicles.

The vehicles, known as Wave Gliders and developed by Liquid Robotics in Silicon Valley, California, get their propulsion power from wave action and use solar power for their electronics. They will be deployed beginning today and begin a months-long, ongoing research program in the Gulf of Mexico.

“These vehicles will provide us a steady stream of data about water quality and should significantly increase the available data for ongoing research activity,” said Mike Utsler, chief operating office of BP’s Gulf Coast Restoration Organization. “We will initially deploy the Wave Gliders between the Macondo well and the shoreline, and look to expand from there in the future.”

The unique technology allows deployment of sensors persistently, for the long term, to monitor key environmental variables, including:

  • water quality – detection of any emulsified, dissolved and dispersed oil in water; phytoplankton (chlorophyll); colored, dissolved oxygen matter (CDOM) and other scientifically useful variables
  • marine mammal vocalizations
  • weather and water temperature data.

“Initially we will be calibrating a set of nine optical sensors to monitor water quality, including trace amounts of dispersed oil, and will then add acoustic monitoring of marine mammal activity,” said Roger Hine, president and CEO of Liquid Robotics. “We look forward to working with BP on this extended research program.”

The first two Wave Glider vehicles will be deployed to the vicinity of the Macondo well; a second pair will be deployed in September. Data collected by the vehicles will be relayed via satellite and posted on a public website.

Note to editors: A fact sheet with more details of the Wave Glider technology is included at the bottom of this document.

Also, access multimedia by going to the ftp site here:

Username is LRIMedia
Password is Pre55Kit

For further information:

BP Press Office, London: +44 20 7496 4076
BP Press Office, US: +1 281 366 0265

Wave Glider Fact Sheet

From the manufacturer of the drone boats, Liquid Products.

Practical Applications

Government/Military – National Defense, Anti-terrorism, Anti-smuggling, Port and Harbor Security, Transportation Safety, Energy and Transportation

Scientific/Environmental – Climate Science, Oceanography, Meteorology, Water Quality Monitoring, Tsunami Warning, Resource and Bathymetric Survey, Sanctuary Management, Security, and Patrol, Climate Science (CO2 Flux), Marine Mammal Monitoring

Industrial – Natural Resources Discovery, Water Quality Monitoring, Fisheries Management, Aquaculture


Wave Glider Is Energy Self-Sufficient and Autonomous


There are no functional persistent surface vehicles currently on the market.  Government and civilian users have many requirements for a persistent presence over wide ocean areas that can only presently be met with manned vessels that require complicated logistics and great expense.  All current unmanned surface vehicles require externally supplied energy for missions of longer than a few days.

But many ocean observation tasks require equipment to be positioned at the sea surface for long durations.  For these tasks a large number of small, low cost, observation systems tend to be used.  Without an anchor, currents and weather will tend to pull a surface vehicle, requiring energy to resist these effects.  The problem worsens as vehicle size decreases, so a small vehicle must harvest energy from the environment to maintain its position indefinitely.


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