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Robotic devices to monitor oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Good news for the spill response effort in the Gulf of Mexico. BP is going to use two unmanned wave-gliding machines which will monitor water and marine systems including:

• Monitoring the water quality including the amount of oil in the water, amount of phytoplankton and dissolved oxygen matter.

• The number of marine mammals.

• Weather data.

The vehicles will start monitoring the area after initial testing and will use solar power to power the electronics in the vehicles and wave power as a form of propulsion.

BP Gulf Coast Restoration Organisation spokesperson Mike Utsler stated:

"These vehicles will provide us a steady stream of data about water quality and should significantly increase the available data for ongoing research activity,

"We will initially deploy the Wave Gliders between the Macondo well and the shoreline, and look to expand from there in the future."

The vehicles which have been designed by Liquid Robotics will pass their data via a satellite link to a real time monitoring station.

President and CEO of Liquid Robotics, Roger Hine stated:

"Initially we will be calibrating a set of nine optical sensors to monitor water quality, including trace amounts of dispersed oil, and will then add acoustic monitoring of marine mammal activity,

"We look forward to working with BP on this extended research program."

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