Liquid Robotics®, an ocean data services provider and developer of the Wave Glider®, the first wave-powered marine robot, is proud to announce the PacX Challenge Wave Gliders have broken the Guinness Book World record for distance by an unmanned wave powered vehicle. Arriving in Hawaiʼi on the first leg of their 9000 nautical mile journey across the Pacific, they have traveled over 3200 nautical miles breaking the previous world distance record of 2500 nautical miles.
Launched on November 17, 2011 from San Francisco Bay, the Wave Gliders have survived 8-meter (26 foot) waves in a gale force storm, defied turbulent mid-ocean currents, all while transmitting real time ocean data and staying on course to their first destination: the Big Island of Hawaiʼi. After a short check-up, the PacX Wave Gliders will embark on their final journeys to Australia and Japan. During this portion of the record breaking, scientific expedition, the first team of Wave Gliders will cross the Mariana Trench and battle the Kuroshio Current on their way to Japan. The second team will cross the equator on their way to Australia. It is anticipated the arrivals will occur in late 2012 or early 2013.
“We are proud our PacX Wave Gliders have reached their first destination and broken the world record,” said Edward Lu, Chief of Innovative Applications at Liquid Robotics. “I have no doubt new ocean discoveries, insights, and applications will emerge from the PacX data set. PacX represents a new model for providing widespread and easy access to environmental monitoring of the worldʼs oceans, one in which Liquid Robotics operates fleets of mobile, autonomous ocean robots across previously inaccessible areas of the ocean."
The PacX Challenge Wave Gliders were named to honor famous oceanographers and discoverers. One of the four, Papa Mau or “the Way Finder”, was named after the Micronesian navigator, Pius "Mau" Piailug, famous as the teacher of traditional, non-instrument way finding methods for deep-sea voyaging. True to his spirit, his namesake Wave Glider is navigating to port without instruments, due to a satellite communication disruption. Programmed to go straight to Kawaihae Harbor on the Big Island, he is battling severe currents, yet staying on path using only his original coordinates and the stars! To learn more about the PacX Challenge, the Wave Gliders and the PacX Challenge grand prize, please go to www.liquidr.com/pacx/pacific-crossing.
Liquid Robotics is an ocean data services provider and developer of the Wave Glider®, the world’s first wave powered, autonomous marine robot designed to help address the biggest challenges the world faces, including global climate change, national security, hurricane and tsunami warning, and offshore energy and resource management. For more information, visit www.liquidr.com.
Liquid Robotics and Wave Glider are registered trademarks of Liquid Robotics, Inc., in the United States and other countries.