In collaboration with the US Navy, Teledyne Marine has completed the first-ever successful undersea glider deployment from a helicopter, marking the first time a glider Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) has been successfully launched from an aircraft.
The Teledyne Slocum glider is a long-endurance AUV used for multiple persistent operational missions. According to Teledyne, its Slocum glider is the backbone of the US Navy Littoral Battlespace Sensing – Glider (LBS-G) program, with over 210 delivered since 2009. The Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) pilots the LBS gliders and includes collected data supporting Navy operations.
For this first aircraft deployment, a Teledyne-owned Slocum glider, configured with LBS-G Mine Countermeasures (MCM) sensors, was launched from the ramp of a US Navy helicopter flying ‘low and slow’ over shallow waters. Teledyne Marine provided Slocum glider piloting and technical support in theater.
Until this successful helicopter deployment, LBS gliders were almost exclusively launched and recovered by the T-AGS 60 class multi-mission ocean survey ships.
The MCM Commander now has the capability for rapid and widespread glider deployment by Task Force elements under direct, tactical control, eliminating the dependency on strategically tasked oceanographic ships. The gliders provide critical environmental information to optimize acoustic and optical MCM sensor performance, which constitutes a revolution in MCM decision support.
Dr. Thomas Altshuler, Senior Vice President, Global Maritime Defense Strategy and Business Development Teledyne Technologies, said: “We are excited to be a part of another series of firsts! In this instance, the first launch from a helicopter and the first-ever successful glider deployment from an aircraft. Teledyne Marine takes pride in our continued innovation and support of the US Navy as it expands the operational envelope of underwater gliders.”