Teledyne Webb Slocum Glider

A Slocum glider in Bedford Basin, NS

The Teledyne Webb Research Slocum glider is an autonomous underwater vehicle designed to measure physical and biogeochemical variables in the ocean. By altering its density the glider can ascend or descend in the water column. Wings on the glider convert that vertical displacement into horizontal motion, resulting in a saw-tooth pattern down to 200m, and a horizontal speed of about 1 km/hr. This efficient means of locomotion leaves most of the on-board battery power for operating the science payload.

OTN routinely deploys two Slocum gliders on the Halifax Line of the AZMP program, a mission that runs a straight line from Halifax over the Scotian Shelf to the shelf break, approximately 250km away. Real-time data is transmitted via satellite at reduced resolution until the end of the mission, at which time the full resolution data is downloaded from the glider. The oceanographic data collected provides an environmental context for detections of tagged animals. They also serve as important inputs and checks for models of the physics and biology of the region being developed by OTN investigators.

Glider Details:

  • Avg. mission distance: ~400 km
  • Avg. mission time: ~3 weeks
  • Dives to 200 m or 8 m off the seafloor
  • Horizontal profile distance ~1 km
  • Speeds averaging 1 km/hr
  • Powered by alkaline/lithium batteries
  • Interchangeable scientific payload bays

Slocum Glider Instrumentation

Manufacturer Model Measurements
SeaBird GPCTD conductivity, temperature, pressure
Aanderaa Optode 5013w oxygen concentration, oxygen saturation
WetLabs ECO Triplet chlorophyll a and CDOM fluorescence, backscattering @ 470, 532, 650, 880nm
Satlantic OCR 504i multispectral irradiance @ 412, 443, 490, 555nm