Japan Coast Guard Expands Ocean Observation Fleet

Japan Coast Guard Expands Ocean Observation Fleet

Joanne Masters — March 6, 2018

In the summer of 2016, a fleet of Wave Gliders arrived in Japan, ready to provide autonomous observation and situational awareness of ocean currents, wave activity, and weather along Japan’s coastlines. It was the first unmanned ocean observation network in Japan’s history.

Last week, the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) announced the expansion of their Wave Glider fleet to the 9th Regional District, headquartered in Niigata, Japan, demonstrating their ongoing commitment to ocean monitoring.


The 11 regions of the Japan Coast Guard operations. Image by Los688 via Wikimedia Commons.


Beyond monitoring ocean conditions, JCG is publishing the environmental data for free and in real-time to Japan’s commercial fisheries and tourism industries. The availability of both current and historical oceanographic data provides the commercial and tourism industries with increased insight into weather patterns and ocean conditions that impact the safety and efficiency of their maritime operations.

“We are honored to support JCG’s leadership to improve the level of maritime monitoring and safety around Japan through the use of autonomous ocean observation platforms like the Wave Glider,” said Gary Gysin, President and CEO of Liquid Robotics. “Together with Hydro Systems Development, we are excited to support the next phase of growth and are committed to their continued success.”

Working with Tokyo-based Hydro Systems Development (HSD) has been instrumental to this effort. “It has been our pleasure to support the Japan Coast Guard in their mission to enhance monitoring and safety of Japan’s maritime environment,” said Takashi Kitsuda, President of Hydro Systems Development.

Wave Gliders are environmentally safe and a more effective way to expand national ocean observation systems when compared to traditional methods such as ships. By utilizing a network of unmanned systems, JCG is able to provide access to continuous, real-time meteorological and oceanographic information from seas where monitoring ships often cannot operate and without putting personnel at risk.

Japan Coast Guard launches a Wave Glider, video originally featured on the JCG website.

We’re thrilled to partner with JCG and HSD on this next phase of growth!