Scientists Can’t Get There but Honey Badger Can

Environmental Research Division,

Adapted from University of Texas press release The previous link is a link to non-Federal government website. Click to review NOAA Fisheries disclaimer.

The Wave Glider is an autonomous surface vehicle consisting of two parts, a float on the surface of the ocean connected by a 7m umbilical to a "sub" or wing rack subsea. Together, they work in unison to convert the up and down motion of the waves into forward thrust. As a result, the Wave Glider does not need fuel for propulsion nor does it produce emissions. Credit: Tracy Villareal, The University of Texas Marine Science Institute.

Satellite imagery has revealed that large blooms of phytoplankton (single-celled plants) form in the vast Pacific Ocean covering thousands of square miles and lasting for many weeks.

Until now, the remote location in the open ocean have made it very difficult to identify what types of plants are creating this massive mat of plant-life and what conditions lead up to these blooms. Scientists Tracy Villareal from the University of Texas Marine Science Institute and Cara Wilson from the Southwest Fisheries Science Center of NOAA Fisheries will be sending out the Honey Badger to figure it out. Their mission named MAGI uses a state-of-the-art Wave Glider®, nicknamed Honey Badger, from Liquid Robotics. The MAGI six month mission kicks off this week to begin sampling where these blooms develop in the Pacific Ocean near a remote region in the