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FEATURE ARTICLE

The Robot Ocean Network

Automated underwater vehicles go where people cannot, filling in crucial details about weather, ecosystems, and Earth’s changing climate.

Oscar Schofield, Scott Glenn, Mark Moline

2013-11SchofieldF1.jpgClick to Enlarge ImageThe ocean remains an enigma, relatively unexplored despite centuries of study. Ship-based studies are vital, but they are costly, slow and dangerous. What oceanographers want is a network of mobile sensors capable of monitoring and sampling all over the world. They’re not quite there yet, but as the authors report, there are currently thousands of robots in the ocean today, sending data back to shore. The authors detail recent advances in robot capabilities and how the data they have provided have led to advances in understanding storms, ecosystems, and climate change.


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