Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 30 Issue 02

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Volume 30, No. 2
Pages 104 - 109

Sustained Measurements of Southern Ocean Air-Sea Coupling from a Wave Glider Autonomous Surface Vehicle

Jim Thomson James Girton
Article Abstract

The four-month mission of a Wave Glider in the Southern Ocean has demonstrated the capability for an autonomous surface vehicle to make sustained measurements of air-sea interactions in remote regions. Several new sensor payloads were integrated for this mission, including a three-axis sonic anemometer for turbulent wind stress estimation and a high-resolution atmospheric pressure gage. The mission focused on Drake Passage, where strong gradients are common along the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) fronts. Using satellite data products, pilots ashore were able to remotely navigate the Wave Glider across the ACC Polar Front and measure changes in air-sea coupling. The resulting data set combines the persistence of a mooring with the adaptability of a ship-based survey.


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