Dolphin Like Sea Glider
We all have been heard many times in debates and discussions that global warming is responsible for the melting of polar ice. However this is not the only reason for the melting, the swirly eddy currents add to that. The findings are based on the information gathered by the Robotic ocean gliders.
Ice sheets of west Antarctica are melting at a faster rate and it is predicted that if it continues with the present rate might raise the sea level by 3 meters. Scientists have been a close eye for many years on the warm water near the coast of west Antarctica and got into conclusion as one of the main reason for the melting of the ice. It remained a mystery for some time on how it is happening. Finally scientists have gathered some crucial information regarding ice melt.
How they got the information?
The obvious question that comes to mind is how the hell all the times scientists find the reasons and solids information for the concerned problems? Well, they do research simple. This time they took help of three robotic gliders which look like the dolphins under the sea.
The gliders are 2 meters in length –around the size of a bottle –nosed dolphin. They were deployed deep down the ocean near Antarctica to measure the salinity and temperature. After two months of research they found that eddy currents, swirls of warm water are the reason, reaching the surface. This leads to the melting of the coastal ice.
Eddies current are actually the instabilities in a medium caused by certain factors. You can imagine eddies as circular motion of the liquid medium forming the whirlpool, a perfect example would swirl formed while mixing the sugar in a cup of tea by the use of spoon, Eddies facilitates mixing. Hence when we talk here about eddies current in ocean that means mixing of heat into ocean water efficiently.
Researchers used ships to gather ocean data in the past, the method being expensive having lots of constraints. However the gliders like this enhances the capabilities of taking ocean samples for much longer time. These battery powered bots are extremely energy efficient.
How Dolphin Gliders do it?
These gliders dive into the ocean like a dolphin. The batteries power a pump that pushes water into a specially designed compartment within the glider. It makes it heavier than the sea saline water making it to sink. When they it needs to come upon the surface, water is pumped into a bladder which is incorporated into the dolphin surface, making it more buoyant and causing to rise.
Each time when glider comes to the surface, it calls the researchers via mobile phone inbuilt device. This allows the researcher to find the dolphin and collect the information it has gathered from deep down the sea.
Further the team wants to adopt a more advanced sophisticated glider to study the Drake Passage. This is a patch of ocean between the southern tip of South America and Antarctica. This narrow stretch of ocean is known for its deep waters coming at the surface. And making it ideal to study the CO2 exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere.
The Project Idea which you can take out of it:-
Well there are lots of researches has to be done inside the ocean and day after day new things come up. You being the engineers can help these researchers by making some new kind of Drones with new sensors. You can make bots that can directly transmit the information in the real time even if the glider fails. As far as college Engineering project is considered, you can make a prototype of it by incorporating batteries and propeller into it.
In case you have money constraints, you can make static model showing areas in it for more advancements. We never know when we become a crucial inventor.
Finally it’s always important to share information with the mates. I would be pleased if you share it in various networking sites. Do comment if you feels like having a potential project idea and loved it.