The Portuguese Hydrographic Institute and PLOCAN launched the Seaglider-1K in the Nazaré Submarine Canyon from the ship NRP Auriga in order to carry out a scientific-technical mission between Portugal and Gran Canaria, separated approximately by 1500 kilometres. The device will be collected in Gran Canaria, after two months of continuous and autonomous navigation.
This glider mission is necessary for operational tasks of the European iFADO project, in which PLOCAN participates as a partner, as well as for the collaboration agreement between the Portuguese Hydrographic Institute and PLOCAN, in order to increase the ocean observing capabilities in the North-Eastern Central Atlantic, specifically in the Macaronesian Region, using new-generation autonomous technologies for achieving greater efficiency and sustainability.
The glider that was launched belongs to the autonomous vehicle fleet of PLOCAN. It integrates a specific configuration of ocean sensors in order to measure seawater biogeochemical parameters (temperature, salinity, pressure, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll and turbidity) between the surface and a maximum depth of 1000 metres.
Funded by the European Interreg Atlantic Area programme, iFADO attempts to detect and cover any technical gaps that there may be in the framework of the deep Atlantic Ocean, using the Framework Directive on Marine Strategy (FDMS) to such end, implemented by applying innovative products. In its implementation, iFADO combines oceanic monitoring using conventional systems and methodologies with cutting-edge technologies like autonomous platforms, including submarine gliders. iFADO is a four-year project, co-ordinated by the IST and with the participation of twenty both public and private partners from Portugal, Ireland, United Kingdom, Spain and France. PLOCAN is responsible for work package five, devoted to emerging oceanic monitoring technologies.