S-MODE Research Vessel and Marine Robots Prepare for Sea
As part of NASA's Sub-Mesoscale Ocean Dynamics Experiment (S-MODE) pilot campaign in 2021, the research vessel Oceanus, owned by the National Science Foundation, set sail to an area 110 nautical miles off the coast of San Francisco, accompanied by a fleet of several types of autonomous marine research vessels.
The wave gliders pictured here on the dock carry a variety of sensors and instruments. Because they're autonomous, their use reduces the risk posed to human researchers who could be exposed to large storms at sea.
S-MODE is a NASA Earth mission to use newly developed in-situ and remote-sensing techniques to look at small-scale ocean whirlpools, eddies, and currents. The observations could help scientists better understand how these dynamics drive the give-and-take of material and energy between the ocean and atmosphere and, ultimately, help shape Earth's climate.
More information about S-MODE is at https://espo.nasa.gov/s-mode/content/S-MODE