12 un­der­wa­ter glid­ers send­ing sci­ence data from South China Sea

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA -

Twelve un­der­wa­ter glid­ers de­vel­oped in China are car­ry­ing out sci­en­tific ob­ser­va­tions in the South China Sea and send­ing back real-time data, ac­cord­ing to a brief­ing aboard the re­search ves­sel Kexue on Satur­day.

It is the largest group of glid­ers to per­form si­mul­ta­ne­ous ob­ser­va­tions in the re­gion.

The Kexue left Qing­dao, Shan­dong prov­ince, on July 10 for a mar­itime sci­en­tific ex­pe­di­tion. Af­ter com­plet­ing the first part of the mis­sion, it stopped on Fri­day in Xi­a­men, Fu­jian prov­ince, to re­sup­ply.

“The glid­ers have col­lected de­tailed mar­itime in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing tem­per­a­ture, salin­ity, tur­bid­ity and oxy­gen lev­els, as well as the in­ten­sity and di­rec­tion of currents,” said Yu Jiancheng, a sci­en­tist in the pro­gram.

The 12 sub­mersibles will col­lect com­pre­hen­sive ocean data over the next month, said Sun Song, another sci­en­tist in the pro­gram.

Un­der­wa­ter glid­ers are a new type of ro­bot fea­tur­ing higher ef­fi­ciency and bet­ter en­durance. Dur­ing the first stage of the mis­sion, sci­en­tists suc­cess­fully placed three sub­mersible buoys and con­ducted sev­eral dives.

The Kexue will leave Xi­a­men on Sun­day for the mis­sion’s se­cond stage. It is China’s most ad­vanced, in­de­pen­dently made marine sci­ence ves­sel. It was put into oper­a­tion in April 2014. The 4,711-met­ric-ton ves­sel is ca­pa­ble of con­duct­ing deep-wa­ter and open sea ex­plo­ration and re­search.

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