EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Release of a Seaglider from an AutoNaut surface vehicle: demonstration mission in the Eurec4a project

Karen J. Heywood1, Elizabeth Siddle1, Callum Rollo1, Ben Webber1, Rob Hall1, Gillian Damerell1, Philip Leadbitter1, Gareth Lee1, Peter Bromley2, Paul Stafford2, Alastair Nichol2, and Hugh Maclean2
Karen J. Heywood et al.
  • 1University of East Anglia, School of Environmental Sciences, Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Norwich, United Kingdom (
  • 2AutoNaut Ltd, Chichester, UK

This PICO presentation describes a recent demonstration mission of our wave-propelled autonomous vehicle, an AutoNaut named Caravela. Caravela has been designed and built to carry and deploy a profiling ocean glider at a specified location and time. This has applications for example in transporting an ocean glider to a remote location without use of a research vessel, or initiating a glider campaign at a particular time such as prior to a hurricane or the spring bloom.


In January-February 2020 we participated in the international Eurec4a field campaign in the tropical Atlantic to the east of Barbados. Caravela was deployed from Barbados and carried a Seaglider to release at the study site. The observational campaign was designed to occupy a time series site with three Seagliders (making intensive measurements of upper ocean properties) and the AutoNaut (making continuous measurements of surface meteorology, radiation and surface ocean currents).  Here we describe the technological challenges, the field campaign and the preliminary results of the scientific observations from Caravela and the Seagliders. The aim is to use the observations to calculate the air-sea fluxes and ultimately to close a mixed layer heat budget for the observation site.

How to cite: Heywood, K. J., Siddle, E., Rollo, C., Webber, B., Hall, R., Damerell, G., Leadbitter, P., Lee, G., Bromley, P., Stafford, P., Nichol, A., and Maclean, H.: Release of a Seaglider from an AutoNaut surface vehicle: demonstration mission in the Eurec4a project, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10499,, 2020


Display file