Electronic Porpoises on the Ocean's Horizon
Soon, electro-glide vehicles will be roving the oceans to collect and transmit vital signs. Currents, temperatures, salinity, surface height, and many other parameters will be collected from a network of these contraptions to assist the world's oceanographers in reporting and predict oceanic phenomena similar meteorologists. These primarily self-propelled first descend through a gliding action to a depth of about 2 km, then pump oil into an external bladder to increase volume while maintaining its mass. The resulting lower density causes the vehicle to float upward until, at the surface, it pumps the oil back into the vehicle and begins the cycle over again. Initial plans call for a 300 km grid of vehicles that can roam the oceans at a speed of about 1 knot, for up to 5 years.