New mission to chart new paths in ocean exploration

New mission to chart new paths in ocean exploration

Rutgers University and Teledyne Webb Research have unveiled The Sentinel Mission in a remarkable display of academic and technological collaboration. This unprecedented initiative marks the beginning of an ambitious journey as Teledyne’s Slocum Sentinel Glider, Redwing (Research & Education Doug Webb Inter-National Glider), prepares for a historic round-the-world flight. The mission is further strengthened by the involvement of NOAA, the Marine Technology Society and the UN Ocean Decade.

The event, held at Rutgers University on 23 April 2024, showcased the intricate planning and resilient partnership behind The Sentinel Mission. The Redwing glider, embodying the intersection of research and education, pays homage to Doug Webb, a pioneer of autonomous underwater technology. It stands not only as an innovative piece of machinery but also as a symbol of global research unity and exploration.

Jonathan Holloway, the 21st president of Rutgers, along with esteemed faculty members, shared his encouragement and support of this mission. Teledyne Marine staff members, Clayton Jones, senior director of technology, and Shea Quinn, Slocum Glider product line manager, provided insight into the history of Slocum gliders and how this mission will affect the future of ocean science.

Inspiring testament

A highlight of the event was the christening of the glider Redwing with seawater from Cape Cod, signifying its readiness for its summer 2024 launch. Attendees witnessed a blend of time-honoured maritime tradition with cutting-edge innovation. Rutgers’ undergraduate students presented the mission’s flight path, highlighting the university’s dedication to impactful learning.

Insights from international partners integral to the mission’s global scope enriched the event, setting the stage for a truly global expedition. The day’s activities culminated with a closer look at the Sentinel Glider, showcasing its capabilities compared to standard models. The academic community, including Master’s students and faculty, engaged in fruitful discussions about sensor integrations and future research applications.

The Sentinel Mission’s anticipated launch in the summer of 2024 will contribute to our understanding of the oceans and serve as an inspiring testament to the power of academic-industry partnerships and the indomitable human spirit of discovery.

Rutgers University Faculty and Teledyne Marine crew with the Redwing glider. (Image courtesy: Teledyne Marine)
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