Seaglider Fabrication Center
The Seaglider Fabrication Center (SFC) of the University of Washington provides new Seagliders™, operator training, and glider refurbishment to internal (UW) customers. SFC is a division of the School of Oceanography, College of the Environment, and is managed by Dr. Fritz Stahr. Please also visit our website for more information and links.
At present, UW is working to find a new external licensee for this product because iRobot Corporation, the original licensee in 2008, is closing their division that produced Seagliders in December, 2012. Please see the Open Letter (PDF file) from the Director of the School of Oceanography regarding UW's committment to continue this technology.
A glider recently set new time and distance-travelled-unaided-by-current records for autonomous underwater vehicles. Seaglider 144, owned by Dr. Charlie Eriksen, UW Professor, Physical Oceanography, traveled an excess of 5500 kilometers in 292 days (9.5 months) while working in the NE Pacific. It was recovered on April 4, 2010.
See articles about the Seaglider™ in UW and local online news:
|University Week||The Daily of UW||Other|
As of November, 2012, 93 units have been delivered to eight different institutions, and another 11 are on order.
Domestic: UW (6 different PIs), Univ of Hawaii (2 different PIs), Oregon State Univ, US Navy
International: Univ of Cyprus (Nicosia, Cyprus), Alfred Wegner Institute (Bremerhaven, Germany), Australian National Facility for Ocean Gliders (Perth, Australia), Scottish Association for Marine Science (Oban, Scotland)
The Seaglider Fabrication Center offers three primary products to UW faculty/staff only:
Complete Seaglider: All Seagliders come with a Seabird Electronics (SBE) conductivity and temperature sensors, as well as a pressure sensor and an altimeter transducer, forming the basic package for measuring seawater properties and stratification. In addition, various oxygen, optical backscatter, fluorescence, and PAR sensors are available with a standard glider. Other sensors may be added by the user.
Training: Four days of "pilot" training is important to safely and effectively operate a Seaglider. All new purchasers or new pilots should partake. The training typically occurs when the first Seaglider is ready for shipment and includes practice in deploment, recovery and piloting in Puget Sound before actual delivery.
Seaglider Refurbishment: This consists of various levels of service for internal components of your Seaglider, including sensor calibrations, battery changes, O-ring replacement, etc.