In December 2016, Blue Ocean Monitoring conducted a water quality survey using a Slocum Glider in waters around the Chevron-operated Wheatstone Platform on behalf of MScience Pty Ltd.
The glider was equipped with a customised sensor package including a conductivity, temperature and depth sensor; a dissolved oxygen sensor and an optical sensor capable of measuring crude oil fluorescence and turbidity.
The glider operated autonomously providing a description of the spatial variation in the oceanography and water quality parameters at varying distances from the Wheatstone Platform.
Blue Ocean Monitoring successfully tested a camera system on the glider which captured quality images at a depth of around 90 meters. The glider based camera system was used to supplement an ROV survey of seabed habitats to identify the spatial extent of benthic habitats within the survey area. Blue Ocean Monitoring developed a micro controller to interface with the glider sensors to control the frequency and depth range of image capture.
Commenting on the survey, Ross Dinsdale, General Manager – Australia said: "We had 100% data return for all the water quality parameters measured by the glider. We were also very pleased to see positive results from the camera system. We believe that the glider can be a very effective platform for broad scale benthic habitat mapping due to its cost effectiveness and long endurance. We will continue to invest in our camera systems to enable the glider to be used in other inspection applications".