Underwater glider SeaExplorer with new world record

By Curious

The underwater glider SeaExplorer managed to break the record for duration and speed for a UUV (Unmanned Underwater Vehicle). Undersea robotics experts, ACSA, have announced the record with the underwater machine SeaExplorer. This sea project could not be accomplished without the participation of the Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche (LOV), the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC).

SeaExplorer was sent to this mission to prove the efficiency of the Lio-Ion rechargeable batteries and its endurance underwater to be tested. The machine managed to perform several courses between France and Corsica Island. SeaExplorer was able to acquire high resolution data, the results will be presented on February 2014 on a conference.

What is the difference between SeaExplorer and the others?

Most of the rivals of SeaExplorer are equipped with alkaline or primary lithium batteries. Lio-Ion batteries used in the project SeaExplorer are probably the better solution because they have small impact on the environment and have to be changed every 10 years.

The underwater glider was on 60 day mission and for that time travelled 1183km with average speed of 0.5 knots and with only one battery charge. SeaExplorer is designed to navigate at sea for many days. The purpose of this machine is to gather information (transmitted by satellite) of subsea and surface layers. 


- Oceanography and Science

- Rapid Environment Assessment

- Marine mammals assessment

- Pollution detection

- Water quality monitoring

- Search and Rescue operations

SeaExplorer navigates by changing its buoyancy in order to achieve high endurance at low speed. The machine has to go to the surface from time to time to send data for its position and mission. The Sea Explorer UUV is the 1st glider tracked with the help of an acoustic buoy to avert it having to surface in congested coastal areas for being geo-located and/or making radio connections with land control.