They're on their way!

Today we launched the four wavegliders for the PacX Challenge. We had a launch event in San Francisco. The robots got christened then sent out to sea on a fishing boat. They got dropped off at roughly where the water depth got to 100 fathoms. It's crab season in California and the seas up to a depth of about 80 fathoms are littered with crab pots, along with their pesky marker buoys and lines. The robots are streaming a pile of telemetry to Folks with a geeky attraction to marine data can extract it in a variety of formats, from images to CSV files - all courtesy of a lovely server called ERDDAP from the wonderful folks at NOAA.

The data is "open source". Everyone from marine scientists to kids doing science fair projects is welcome to download and mine it for whatever they'd like.

In this image you can see the temperature reading from the glider, which is at a depth of about 7 meters when the robot is at sea. The map covers the trip on the freeway from the factory in Sunnyvale up to San Francisco. Then onboard the boat that launched them, then they're launched and swim separate, but parallel tracks.

November 17, 2011