Liquid Robotics®, an ocean data services provider and developer of the Wave Glider®, the first wave-powered, autonomous marine robot, today launched the PacX Wave Gliders from the Big Island of Hawai’i on the final phase of a first-of-its-kind scientific expedition across the Pacific Ocean. Continuing their record-breaking journey across the high seas with approximately 5000 nautical miles until their final destinations of Australia and Japan, the Wave Gliders have collectively already traveled more than 13,000 nautical miles. This is more than 2x the distance from San Francisco to Tokyo, Japan. During their voyage, the Wave Gliders are collecting and transmitting in near real-time, unprecedented amounts of ocean surface data on a scale never before continuously collected across the Pacific Ocean.
Sensors on the Wave Gliders are collecting continuous data on water currents and waves, weather conditions, carbon and oxygen levels, water clarity (turbidity) and other critical ocean data vital for weather forecasting, global climate change, environmental monitoring and other commercial applications such as shipping, and fisheries.
The purpose of the PacX ocean crossing is to foster new scientific exploration, new discoveries, and to ignite interest in science worldwide – especially with school children. Towards this end, Liquid Robotics is creating a Young Innovators Program. Targeted at students from middle school through high school to stimulate their interest in marine science, robotics and Met/Ocean observation (oceanography, meteorology, weather), this program enables students to use the PacX data to compete in their state science fairs and other scientific/STEM competitions. The roll out of the program will begin over the next 30 days.
This initiative comes on the heels of a recently unveiled study called The Nation’s Report Card* from the US Department of Education that shows more than two-thirds of America’s 8th graders are missing a solid grasp of science principles. The results vary from state to state but deliver incontrovertible evidence that schools are leaving American children unprepared for college and the work force.
The PacX data is available free to anyone who registers on www.liquidr.com/pacx/pacxdata. More than 1,600 people around the world have downloaded the data and are following the robots’ journey. Additionally, the PacX Challenge scientific competition is open to anyone worldwide who wishes to compete. The grand prize award is $50,000 and six months of Wave Glider data services. Abstracts are due July 17, 2012. Learn more on http://goo.gl/h71FD.
During the voyage, one pair of robots will travel to Guam and cross the Mariana Trench, the deepest place on earth, on their way to Japan. The second pair will travel to Fiji on their way across the equator on a route to Australia. The journeys will end in late 2012 or early 2013
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.