Waldo Searches For Oil Off The Keys

Slocum GliderA Slocum Glider named Waldo was launched by the Mote Marine Laboratory yesterday to look for oil in the water from the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Waldo will patrol an area above Key West to about 20 miles west of the Dry Tortugas.  In this area Waldo will gather information from sensors approximately every four minutes and transmit that information every fifteen minutes via satellite.

Waldo is the second UAV (Underwater Autonomous Vehicle) to be launched to look for oil.  The first UAV was launched last week and is called Nemo.

Mote Marine Laboratory may even launch a third UAV even further west of the Dry Tortugas and hopes all three gliders will act as an early warning system should any oil be detected.
Dr Gary Kirkpatrick, who is heading up the glider mission, stated:

‘There are really large issues at stake for us here in Florida,’ Kirkpatrick said. ‘It’s not really logistically possible to have humans in boats covering these wide areas, constantly looking for signs of the oil spill coming toward our shores. But we have these great robots that can do this 24 hours a day for three weeks in a row, so it’s important we use these tools.’

Link via (Miami Herald)

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