multimedia storytelling with data and imagery

Visualizing Wave Glider Tracks

Long-term autonomous monitoring of the ocean by wave gliders is used to monitor ocean conditions and track sea life.

Partner: Axiom Data Science

Wave gliders are autonomous, unmanned drones that slowly paddle and propel their way along a preset path near the ocean's surface. They use the motion of the waves and solar power to move, and they carry instrument packages designed to monitor ocean conditions while spending weeks at sea.

Axiom Data Science worked with a number of goverment agencies that make data collected by oceanographic gliders available to the general public (e.g., the Integrated Ocean Observing System Glider DAC, NOAA, and BOEM). As a staff scientist, I developed a system to visualize the path of wave gliders, show some data that they were collecting directly, and extract and show gridded environmental data along the glider's track.

The example shown here was from a glider deployment in support of BOEM Study 2019-043: "Behavior, Seasonality, and Habitat Preferences of Mobile Fishes and Sea Turtles Within a Large Sand Shoal Complex: Insights From Traditional Sampling and Emerging Technologies." During this deployment, the glider spent 20 days at sea off the coast of Cape Canaveral, traveling over a thousand miles, and detecting numerous acoustically-tagged animals in the area.