In a first for the US Navy, an underwater glider was launched with the aid of
Navy divers from the Dry Deck Shelter aboard USS Buffalo (SSN 715) November 14.
The glider is a uniquely mobile network component capable of moving to specific
locations and depths and gathering various information, which is transmitted on
a predetermined interval when it surfaces to computers via a built-in satellite
The battery-powered device paints a picture for assets below and above the ocean
that can be used to the US Navy's submarines advantage. Gliders have
demonstrated their capability in various exercises such as RIMPAC (exercise Rim
of the Pacific) '04. Retrieving a glider via submarine is a logical next step.
The gliders are relatively inexpensive, easy to reconfigure for various
missions, and have a long life span with minimal maintenance required. When new
batteries are required, they can simply be replaced and the glider can be put
back in the water again.
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