XIII PLOCAN Glider School

The Marine Autonomous Vehicles Area (VIMAS) of the Canary Islands Ocean Platform (PLOCAN) organized the 13th edition of the Glider School, an international initiative for the improvement of knowledge and development of marine autonomous vehicles and the consolidation of PLOCAN as gliderport infrastructure in the North of the Atlantic.

Students from Nigeria (FUTA), Brazil (National Navy), United States (WHOI), United Kingdom (BODC and NOC), Italy(CMR-ISMAR) and Spain (ULPGC, AZTI, ECOS and UB) joined the 13th edition (supported by the GROOM-II European project), who have had a teaching staff made up of technicians from the world’s leading ocean-glider technology manufacturers, as well as leading manufacturers of the subsystems-components that these autonomous ocean-observing platforms (sensors, communications, etc.) integrate.

The five main ocean-glider technologies: Slocum, Seaglider, Seaexplorer, Sailbuoy and Autonaut, this last one recently joined the PLOCAN fleet, together with world-renowned operators sharing their experience, met at the Glider School, as leading hands-on training forum for high specialization in cutting-edge marine technologies addressed for a more efficient and sustainable ocean-observing strategy.

The growing development of the use of this type of ocean-observing technologies and the number of vehicles has enabled to start the regulatory process for the navigation conditions of unmanned vessels, an aspect that has also been addressed in this edition of the Glider School.

The Glider School maintains its objective to train technicians and pilots of autonomous marine gliders and to show the evolution of sensor technology, presenting the new generation of instruments associated with these technologies, and scientific applications, services for the blue economy or the contribution to the regulatory strategy for unmanned maritime navigation in Spain in the international context.

The training activity includes both theoretical and practical sessions in laboratory and open waters of Gran Canaria, as well as an update on the state of the art, the international user-community and applications dimensioning, and the contribution of the Glider School through the training of students from the five continents that with the 13th edition has exceeded the number of two hundred.

PLOCAN is part of the international EGO-gliderports network, made up by highly specialized infrastructures, with technical capabilities and the provision of both operational and training services related to ocean-glider technologies. EGO (Everyone’s Gliding Observatories) is a multidisciplinary international initiative made up of members from companies as well as public, governmental and academic institutions, and which currently has a global dimension including users from the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Africa, Brazil, among others. EGO promotes the coordinated use and technological improvements of these autonomous ocean observation devices through missions and experiments, tutorials, schools, technical notes, thematic forums, congresses, as well as data availability, communication protocols, all this from the field of dissemination and applied use of the information generated by the devices through various socioeconomic sectors of the marine-maritime field at global level.

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