The Year in Photos – 2018

The Year in Photos – 2018

Joanne Masters — December 4, 2018

Back by popular demand is the 2018 The Year in Photos. Our annual photo roundup provides highlights of some of the many scientific and commercial missions that occurred around the world.

And what a year it was! Missions from Iceland to the Suez Canal, to the North Sea and the Southern Ocean. From tracking active lava flows from the Kilauea Volcano (Hawai’i) to extreme sea state missions off of Iceland, missions to the Arctic and a mission in search of Humpback Whales in the Pacific.

A big thanks to all the customers, partners and employees who made these missions possible. Enjoy the viewing!

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Image taken by the Wave Glider named Wa’a as it approached the live lava plume

Kilauea Volcano Wave Glider Mission – In June, we had a very unique opportunity to gain real time ocean data on the impact of Kilauea’s lava flow on the marine life, coral reefs and communities. Wave Gliders carried scientific sensors from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, US Geological Service Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, MBARI and MIT to measure subsea, surface and atmospheric activity. Scientists had the rare opportunity to study the effects of the lava entering the ocean, the plume it creates and the interactions of the lava and seawater directly from the surface of the ocean.

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Two Wave Gliders gathered rare live data from Kilauea’s lava plume

Preparing to launch a Wave Glider in the Barents Sea during the GLIDER Project

Preparing to launch a Wave Glider for the GLIDER Project

The GLIDER Project – The Norwegian Research Council and ConocoPhillips Scandinavia AS in collaboration with Maritime Robotics conducted missions in the North East part of the Barents Sea. The goal was to assess the increased industrial activity in the Arctic on marine ecosystems. The scientists wanted to demonstrate a cost-effective observation program for real-time and long-term integrated environmental monitoring in sensitive areas over a large spatial scale. Read about this successful mission from Joel Pederick of Maritime Robotics.

Wave Glider on mission in the Barents Sea

Wave Glider on mission in the Barents Sea

The Hawai’i Operations Team after a successful day of clean up

Our Hawai’i Operations team after a successful day of clean up

World Oceans Day 2018 at Liquid Robotics – From Hapuna Beach State Park on the Big Island of Hawai’i to Rockaway Beach near the town of Pacifica, CA, Liquid Robotics had a mission to clean up local shorelines. Our teams collected trash, non-native/harmful plants and way too many cigarette butts. The Hawai’i team and local community members even sent scuba divers out to collect trash near shore. This was a great “give back” day for us at Liquid Robotics.

Liquid Robotics team at Rockaway Beach for their clean up mission

The Liquid Robotics team at Rockaway Beach for their clean up mission


Traveling through the Suez Canal – An incredible view of a fleet of Wave Gliders on their way to a mission!

A fleet of Wave Gliders on transport through the Suez Canal  

Extreme Sea State Testing Off the Coast of Iceland – Danny Merritt, Mike Kopra, and Dustin Boettcher of our fantastic Mission Operations team are taking a well-deserved break during their extreme sea state testing off the coast of Iceland. We mean extreme sea states, ranging from sea state 6 to 9!


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PLOCAN – In Gran Canaria, Spain, there is a highly respected glider school dedicated to the integration and training of advanced marine technologies. They conduct regular training and missions with Wave Gliders and other autonomous systems to help monitor and observe ocean activity. Here’s one of the team photos before a Wave Glider mission.

PLOCAN Wave Glider returns to Gran Canaria, Spain

A Wave Glider returns home after a 6 week, 1600km mission to the Maldives

The Japan Coast Guard fleet, pre-deployment

Japan Coast Guard – Wave Gliders are ready for their environmental monitoring mission in Japan. In March of this year, the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) announced the expansion of their unmanned ocean observation fleet of Wave Gliders to the 9th Regional District, headquartered in Niigata, Japan. This growth is part of JCG’s multi-year, ocean monitoring program to provide enhanced, real-time situational awareness of ocean currents, wave activity, and weather along Japan’s coastlines.

A selfie taken by Jupiter's Wave Glider

A selfie taken by Jupiter’s Wave Glider, “Europa”

Humpback Pacific Survey (HUMPACS) – In search of Missing Humpback Whales, the Jupiter Research Foundation launched an unprecedented scientific mission to search for humpback whales in the unexplored, deep ocean basins and seamounts between Hawai’i and Mexico. The 3.5 month project named HUMPACS, short for Humpback Pacific Survey, searched for a subset of humpback whales that have been identified in the northern Pacific feeding grounds but are “missing” from their southern breeding grounds. Despite collecting vast amounts of data from undersampled regions, and over 500 photos, the humpbacks were nowhere to be found. Scientists at Jupiter Research Foundation are in the process of analyzing the data. Check out the time lapsed video of the Wave Glider mission.



Wave Glider Mission to Monitor the Agulhas CurrentCSIR-NRE SOCCO deployed a Wave Glider off the east coast of South Africa in the Agulhas Current. The mission goal was to capture new data to better understand how energy dissipates in the ocean. Read more about their mission in this published project update on Eos.

Image Credit: CSIR-NRE SOCCO


GEOMAR – Used their Wave Gliders on a mission to sniff for methane seeps in the North Sea and for underwater positioning of sub #JAGO and Girona-500 AUV. Check out GEOMAR Navigator tool to track their Wave Gliders and visualize the data they collected in near-real-time.


Enjoying the view of Baffin Bay

Favorite Photo of the Year – While on a Wave Glider mission in Greenland in the tiny village of Upernavik south of Baffin Bay, Dustin Boettcher from Liquid Robotics found a new friend, a local dog from the village. After calling it a day from calibrating Wave Glider compasses to ensure proper navigation and quality sensor data in high latitudes (72-75 degrees N), Dustin had a quiet moment with his new buddy. Beautiful summer view of the last icebergs floating by.