The Israeli Glider Fleet

Gliders are autonomous underwater vehicles acting as sensing platforms dedicated to collecting water column data profiles with a very high spatio-temporal coverage. Driven by changes in buoyancy, the glider delivers very long endurance missions, capable of staying at sea for several weeks to several months.

Three Sea-Explorer gliders of ALSEAMAR were purchased in 2016, through a joint Glider Project, the first of its kind in Israeli waters. The gliders’ observational capabilities, via a high-frequency monitoring program, enable the investigation of coastal and open water interaction, the delineation of coherent current features along the Israeli shelf and slope, and enhances observations along the historic Haifa Section.

The vehicle is relatively small and weighs 60Kg facilitating launch and recovery operations from small boats, avoiding the high cost of big ship operations. A modular design combined with rechargeable batteries allows a fast and easy change of the payload by replacing the vehicles’ nose section. Supervision and mission control of the vehicle are performed through a web-based piloting and data visualization platform called GLIMPSE.

The three Israeli SeaExplorer gliders carry a variety of sensors including SeaBird CTD and dissolved oxygen sensor, Wetlabs triplet optic sensor (measuring fluorescence, backscatter and CDOM), Alseamar hydrocarbons sensor and Franatech dissolved methane sensor.