Spray Glider

Summary Specs Gallery

The Bluefin Spray Glider is a deep-diving, buoyancy-driven autonomous underwater vehicle. The Spray collects water column data profiles using a pumped, conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) sensor and other instruments. Deployments of up to 6 months can be achieved with a single set of batteries.

EFFICIENT & ELEGANT – The Spray varies its buoyancy using a hydraulic pump and changes its attitude by shifting internal battery packs for pitch and roll. A set of passive wings with embedded antennas provides communications and facilitates forward motion through the water. This approach enables the vehicle to glide up and down along a saw-tooth dive profile using a fraction of the energy used to drive propellers in traditional AUVs.

LONG ENDURANCE – The Spray’s efficient design allows for long-endurance missions of up to six months or 4,800 kilometers, making persistent monitoring over large areas or long distances possible.

DEEP RATED – The Spray is rated to 1,500 meters, making it ideal for open ocean applications, while still able to profile shallow depths.

PUMPED CTD – The standard oceanographic-grade CTD sensor actively pumps seawater through the instrument, significantly reducing biofouling and extending vehicle endurance, especially in warmer climates where biogrowth is more prevalent.

Spray Glider transmissing data via Iridium satellites


  • Oceanography
  • Environmental Protection and Monitoring
  • Scientific Research

The Spray Glider was originally developed at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) under Dr. Russ Davis. The technology was licensed in 2004 and has since been modified.

Visit the Gallery tab for photos and data samples.

Diameter 8 in (20 cm)
Length 84 in (213 cm)
Weight (Dry) 115 lb (52 kg)
Buoyancy 0.9 lb (0.4 kg) net positive
Volume Change 27 oz (700 cc)
Dive Angle 18-25°
Lift Points 1 (located in tail)
Depth Rating 4,921 ft (1,500 m)
Endurance / Range Up to 6 months/4,800 km
with standard payload
Speed Variable, 19-35 cm/sec typical
Energy 17.5 MJ of total energy
Lithium primary batteries
Propulsion Hydraulic buoyancy pump
Navigation Compass, GPS and depth sensor
Waypoint boundary navigation
Antenna GPS/Iridium integrated in both wings
Argos integrated in tail
Communications Iridium SBD and serial via shore cable
Safety Systems Argos, dropweight and independent watchdog
Software HyperTerminal, a menu-driven software tool
Data Management 256 MB flash card
Sensor Channels 1 serial and 2 analog (after standard CTD)
Sensors Sea-Bird conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD)
Dissolved oxygen (optional)
Fluorometer (optional)
Turbidity/OBS (optional)
Altimeter (optional)
Behaviors Loitering, boxes and virtual mooring
Spray Glider transmissing data via Iridium satellites Spray Glider during operations Spray Glider Temperature Profile
HBOI Spray Deployment 2011 Spray Shipping Case