The Spray Glider

What does Spray do?

The robotic underwater glider Spray provides data for scientific research and societal benefit.

Spray is an underwater glider platform for long-term ocean measurements. Sprays operate for several months at a time collecting data about ocean environmental conditions using a suite of advanced sensors.
Spray glider in a small boat
spray glider at the ocean surface
spray glider descending
2 meters

Long from nose to tail

110 lbs

Two people can lift it

1000 meters

deep into the ocean

Spray Glider Measurements

Water Temperature






Alone at sea for months, texts home every day

A Spray glider moves slowly through the water and collects information about the water it is traveling through. It collects a series of vertical profiles from the ocean surface to the seafloor (up to 1000m deep).

In typical operations to 1000 m depth, a Spray glider travels 15 miles and makes 4 profiles per day. When on the ocean surface, about every six hours, it sends the information it collected underwater back via satellite, and then dives back down to continue collecting data. An underwater glider runs on batteries and can stay out to sea for months at a time.

Advanced technology for challenging environments

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Buoyancy Control

A glider uses buoyancy to move up and down. It steers with its wings and tail and by shifting its weight.

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Satellite Communication

Gliders have satellite antennas to communicate to shore similar to sending a text message.

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GPS Navigation

Gliders navigate with GPS and can be programmed while at sea to their change course.