PacX Wave Glider "Papa Mau" arrives in Australia, setting a new world record!
PacX Wave Glider “Papa Mau”, completed his 9,000 nautical mile (16,668 kilometers) scientific journey across the Pacific Ocean to set a new world record for the longest distance traveled by an autonomous vehicle. Throughout his journey, Papa Mau navigated along a prescribed route under autonomous control collecting and transmitting unprecedented amounts of high-resolution ocean data never before available over these vast distances or timeframes.
During Papa Mau’s journey, he weathered gale force storms, fended off sharks, spent more than 365 days at sea, skirted around the Great Barrier Reef, and finally battled and surfed the East Australian Current (EAC) to reach his final destination in Hervey Bay near Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia.
“To say we are excited and proud of Papa Mau reaching his final destination is an understatement,” said Bill Vass, CEO of Liquid Robotics.
B-Roll footage shot during the recovery of Papa Mau in Hervey Bay, near Bundaberg, Australia.
The PacX voyage so far. A short documentary on the occasion of Papa Mau's arrival in Australia
PacX: A journey across the Pacific
PacX is an unprecedented voyage; a ground-breaking, unmanned crossing of the Pacific Ocean. Four Wave Gliders are travelling from California to Australia and Japan. The purpose: to foster new scientific discoveries in ocean science. During their year-long voyage, the gliders will transmit valuable ocean data on salinity, water temperature, waves, weather, fluorescence, and dissolved oxygen.
Liquid Robotics has made this investment to not only demonstrate the endurance of Wave Gliders, but more importantly, to ignite everyone’s imagination on what can be discovered and explored when the ocean is networked with sensors. We encourage everyone who has a passion for the ocean to participate in the journey through our collaboration with Google Earth.
During their combined journey of 34,000 nautical miles, the Wave Gliders will travel across some of the world’s most challenging environments. They began their journey together from California to Hawaii, and then split into pairs where one pair continuing to Japan (over the Mariana Trench, where Virgin Oceanic is exploring the trench), and the other pair to Australia.
The four Wave Gliders are expected to collect approximately 2.25 million discrete data points, and take more than 300 days to complete their voyage. This information is provided free of charge and in real-time, to the world’s scientists, educators, students, and the general public. To receive the data register here.
When they reach their final destinations, the Wave Gliders will have earned a Guinness World Record for the longest voyage completed by an unmanned ocean vessel.
The PacX Challenge
Liquid Robotics is inviting scientists, students and educators to compete in the PacX Challenge competition, which will recognize the most innovative application of the ocean data being collected. The PacX Challenge Prize comprises a $50,000 research grant (courtesy of BP, the exclusive oil and gas industry supporter of the PacX Challenge) and six months of Wave Glider time.