Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 61, Issue 10, pp 1509–1520 | Cite as

The Wave Glider: enabling a new approach to persistent ocean observation and research

  • Tom Daniel
  • Justin ManleyEmail author
  • Neil Trenaman
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Multiparametric observation and analysis of the Sea


The Wave GliderTM wave-powered unmanned maritime vehicle represents a novel and unique approach to persistent ocean presence. Wave Glider is a hybrid sea-surface and underwater vehicle in that it is comprised of a submerged “glider” attached via a tether to a surface float. The Wave Glider vehicle is propelled by the purely mechanical conversion of ocean wave energy into forward thrust, independent of wave direction. In this paper, we provide an overview of the design of this new platform and present results from the engineering sea trials conducted with several prototype and production versions of the vehicle. In addition to the Wave Glider technology, we present results from ongoing scientific demonstration programs. Results from test deployments of a conductivity–temperature–depth sensor and its applicability to oceanography are discussed. An evaluation of horizontal current profiles and current velocity estimation from a Wave Glider operating in Monterey Bay (California, USA) are presented.


Unmanned maritime vehicle Ocean observation ADCP: acoustic Doppler current profiler CTD: conductivity Temperature Depth 



Pacific Marine Environmental Lab




Expendable BT


Acoustic Doppler current profiler


Conductivity, temperature, and depth


Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute


Wave Glider Management System


National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration


National Data Buoy Center


Liquid Robotics Inc.


Performance characterization matrix


Coastal Data Information Program


Surface Velocity Program


Tropical Ocean and Global Atmosphere Program


World Ocean Circulation Experiment program


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Liquid Robotics, IncSunnyvaleUSA

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