Scientists are using torpedo-shaped robots called Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), or gliders, to search for oil

underwater n the Gulf of Mexico.

Hunting for oil
How robots work

GPS antenna, AUVs send data to a satellite; data then transmitted to NOAA, other agencies Equipped inside with fluorometer, which uses ultraviolet light to look for oil and oil dispersants; approximately 10 in. (25 cm) wide Travel in a vertical zig-zag pattern through water column, taking in water to move down, expelling it to surface

Length About 6 ft (2 m) Weight About 110 lb. (50 kg) Power Battery (last 15-30 days)

Spilling into the “loop”
Scientists now project that oil will be trapped by the “loop current,” which could carry it around Florida and up the Atlantic Coast RU22 will survey 100 km from Venice, Fla. to about 100 mi. 100 miles (160 km) off the coast La. Texas Spill, as of May 18
Source: Mote Marin Laboratory and Aquarium; loop current position courtesy of Dr. R. Weisberg and associates, College of Marine Science, University of South Florida Graphic: Pat Carr, Melina Yingling


Gulf of Mexico Loop current
© 2010 MCT

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