These original Kirt's Cogitations™
may be reproduced (no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt
– noun: Concerted thought or reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
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.