The XII edition of the PLOCAN Glider School brought together students from India, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Iran, Greece, Brazil and Spain, as well as the leading manufacturers of the current commercial and operational underwater glider technologies, keeping its commitment as an international benchmark for high-level training in this type of ocean observation devices, with a total of 182 students enrolled in the different editions and 34 the number of countries of origin.
The new technological approach provided by these autonomous marine vehicles enables to gather data on biogeochemical and physical variables of seawater both on the surface and at increasing depths on space-time scales hitherto unapproachable, thus reducing the extremely high operating costs compared to more traditional methods until now used such as oceanographic vessels. As a consequence, greater efficiency and sustainability are derived in the context of the current ocean observation strategy coordinated by the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), the International Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which that contributes to assess the repercussion of a better and adequate knowledge of the ocean at a socio-economic level at a regional, national and global scale.
The XII edition of the PLOCAN Glider School had the support of the European project GROOM-II, including several specific sessions to marine sensors and other modules that these autonomous observation platforms set, such as satellite telemetry, batteries, etc. Likewise, it had the participation of world-class operators and users from the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom, who shared their experiences with the students. It also included practical sessions both in the laboratory and in the open waters of Gran Canaria.