In 2009, researchers at Rutgers University – a Mid-Atlantic partner of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) – became the first to navigate a glider across the vast Atlantic Ocean.
Scarlet Knight is an electric glider. That means it relied on battery power to do its work. But it didn’t use a lot. The robot crossed the Atlantic ocean using the equivalent energy of about four Christmas tree lights. Scarlet Knight pumped water in through its nose to weigh itself down and dive into deeper water. To go back up, the glider pumped the water out again, causing it to weigh less and float toward the surface.
This little craft gathered data that will help a global community of scientists and political leaders understand and respond to some of the most pressing environmental and ecological challenges in human history.