In recent years, underwater gliders have become ubiquitous in modern marine research, Ocean Observing Systems (OOSs) and increasingly in industrial applications. They are highly capable autonomous platforms that can collect water column measurements at a wide range of spatio-temporal scales.
They can travel far for a long time
Gliders are buoyancy driven platform. They use a small pump to change their buoyancy to climb or fall in the water columns and use their wings to glide in the ocean. It means that they can move without a propeller and, even if they are rather slow, they can cover thousands of kilometers during multiple month in total autonomy.
Gliders can go places that are really hard for research vehicles to access. They can go where data is really scarce and missing.
They do not disturb the environment
As gliders are small and do not use propulsion, they glide silently and do not disturb the environment they are using. This is especially important as the biodiversity might avoid bigger instruments, leading to poor results. That is a reasons that makes BioGlider so attractive
They limit costs
One glider can record data in harsh conditions during long periods of time, at a limited cost, compared to big research vessels that require big infrastructures, personnel and energy.