The OceanGliders programme aims at long-term observation of physical, biogeochemical and biological ocean processes and phenomena that are relevant to social applications, enables active coordination and strengthening of worldwide glider activity.
It contributes to current international ocean observation efforts for climate, ocean health and real-time services. The data provided by undersea drones are open access, available to all in real time and are used both in operational oceanography and in studies of processes or climate change.
The OGS glider station aims in particular to study areas of the sea where certain processes occur, such as convective processes, where there is a transformation of water masses, especially in the Mediterranean Sea and in the vicinity of the Antarctic continent in the Southern Ocean. The station consists of 4 submarine drones and their piloting stations from where the gliders are controlled during missions, with experienced pilots able to tune and fly them along defined routes. These instruments measure the first 1000 m of the water column, using only the variation of their attitude to reduce energy consumption to a minimum. At the end of the mission, which can last up to 3-4 months, they are retrieved for a battery change.