Gliders and Other Platforms

LLO operates, or assists in the operation of, two gliders, as well as two meteorological buoys.

The gliders are autonomous underwater vehicles, which collect data by diving down into the water column and back to the surface as they travel through the lake to sets of programmed GPS coordinates. While underway, the gliders are continuously measuring things like water temperature, backscatter (a metric for the amount of particles in the water), chlorophyll, and CDOM (colored dissolved organic matter).

The meteorological buoys are maintained by LLO, with funding from the Great Lakes Observing System, providing current meteorological and water conditions. Data from the buoys are used by the National Weather Service to help generate maritime forecasts for the western arm of Lake Superior. Buoys are not deployed in the winter.

Additionally, LLO has a large collection of precision thermistors, an acoustic ice profiler, Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs), two sediment traps and the equipment required to deploy and recover moorings, including flotation and acoustic releases. This gear is deployed on sub-surface scientific moorings on the Great Lakes and lakes around the world.