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June 21, 2012

New Autonomous Underwater Explorers

Jules Jaffe and Peter Franks of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, were awarded a nearly $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop swarms of autonomous underwater explorers (AUEs), new ocean-probing instruments that will trace fine details of fundamental oceanographic processes. The instruments will be used to help define localized currents, temperature, salinity, pressure and biological properties, thereby offering new and valuable information about a range of ocean phenomena. AUEs will trace the fine details of oceanographic processes vital to tiny marine inhabitants.

The AUEs will help gather information that will be used to determine where to develop marine protected areas, determine critical nursery habitats for fish and other animals, track harmful algae blooms, and monitor oil spills.

To learn more about this research, see the NSF press release Oceanographers Develop "Swarms" of Robotic Ocean Explorers. [Research supported by NSF grant OCE 09-27449.] (Date of Image: October 2009)

Credit: Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC-San Diego

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