Teledyne Webb introduces Slocum Sentinel Glider

Teledyne Webb introduces Slocum Sentinel Glider

Teledyne Webb Research, a leading innovator in oceanographic research, has launched the Slocum Sentinel Glider, poised to make its debut at Oceanology International (Oi) in London in March 2024. The Slocum Sentinel Glider represents a groundbreaking advancement in autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and was developed for oceanographic monitoring across myriad applications.

Glider AUVs have surged in popularity over the past two decades, evolving from early technology to become one of the most prevalent tools for oceanographic monitoring. The glider user community has expanded significantly, mirroring the growing range of applications where gliders offer practical solutions. From environmental assessments to mammal monitoring, fisheries management, physical oceanography, defence and various other missions, the demand for long-term data collection has spurred the advancement of glider technology.

The Slocum Sentinel Glider was developed in response to more demanding user requirements for greater endurance and payload capability. It expands the capabilities and endurance of the vehicle by building on the technology of Teledyne Webb Research’s Slocum G3 Glider​.

Increased mission length

The Slocum Sentinel Glider scales the standard Slocum Glider through an increased diameter and length – 33cm in diameter and over 240cm long. This expanded size allows the Sentinel to hold over 3.5 times as many lithium primary batteries as the standard Slocum Glider and to accommodate up to eight different sensor or hardware integrations.

“The size of the Sentinel gives it the energy capacity to increase mission length to over two years, or users can fit more high-energy sensors such as active or passive acoustics or sensors with onboard processing and imaging without seeing a significant decrease in their overall mission length,” said Shea Quinn, Slocum Glider product line manager at Teledyne Webb Research.

The Sentinel will be driven by the industry’s largest buoyancy engine, with a volumetric capacity of four litres – more than double that of any other glider buoyancy engine. This affords the Sentinel a standard glide speed of 0.75 knots. It features dual thrusters on the aft of the vehicle, which users can choose to activate for a sprint speed of up to 3.5 knots.

“The Sentinel is the world’s fastest glider – its buoyancy engine is large enough to deal with drastic density changes in the water column, and its thrusters give it the ability to stay on track in strong currents or other difficult ocean conditions,” said Quinn.

The Sentinel uses the established piloting, flight control and communications architecture of the Slocum Glider and allows for the same sensor and hardware options as the standard-sized vehicle. “We are excited to bring this new product and capability to our customers,” said Dan Shropshire, vice president of business development for Teledyne Marine Vehicles. “The Sentinel represents the next generation in persistent ocean monitoring, and its features expand operational opportunities for our customers.”

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