Kongsberg Underwater Technology, Inc. announced that it has successfully completed negotiations with the University of Washington’s Center for Commercialization to obtain the sole rights to produce, market and continue the development of Seaglider technology.
Seaglider is an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) system developed at UW’s School of Oceanography and Applied Physics Laboratory with funding from the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation. Rather than using a propeller to move through the water, a Seaglider uses fixed wings and changes in buoyancy to achieve both vertical and forward motion. It can dive as deep as 1,000 meters and then ascend to the surface to communicate data on water properties, such as temperature, salinity, and oxygen concentration, back to users via satellite. After verifying position and getting any new instructions, it dives again, repeating the cycle over and over.
The use of buoyancy propulsion is energy efficient and allows mission periods of over nine months and distances of thousands of kilometers rather than just a few days and tens of kilometers, typical of propeller-driven AUVs.