By Andy Choi
Liquid Robotics, an innovator of the first wave-powered Wave Glider marine robot, recently declared that its PacX Challenge Wave Gliders have covered a distance of 3200 nautical miles (NM), which is a world record for distance covered by an unmanned wave powered vehicle.
The gliders reached Hawai'I, after the tedious 9000 nautical miles (NM) journey over the Pacific region. With a travel distance of 3200 NM, it has exceeded the former Guinness Book World Record for distance of 2500 NM.
On November 17, 2011, the Wave Gliders were launched from San Francisco Bay on a scientific expedition for transmitting real time ocean data. Battling through 8-m waves in a gale force storm, followed by turbulent mid-ocean currents; it safely landed ashore the Big Island of Hawai'i. The PacX Wave Gliders, followed by testing, will travel aboard to Japan and Australia. During this record breaking scientific expedition, the initial team of Wave Gliders while on their journey to Japan, will pass through the Mariana Trench, defying the Kuroshio Current. The second team will travel across the equator while on their move to Australia. Both are expected to arrive during the late 2012 or in early 2013.
The PacX Challenge Wave Gliders were named after the renowned discoverers and oceanographers. Among the four gliders, Papa Mau or ‘the Way Finder,’ was named in honor of Pius "Mau" Piailug, the Micronesian navigator of deep-sea voyaging.
Faced with satellite communication disruption, the Wave Glider is moving to port without using instruments. Despite severe currents confronting its way, it remains in its path using the stars and original coordinates. It is programmed to reach Kawaihae Harbor on the Big Island.