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August 29, 2013 www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS
CPL Max Bree
BEFORE troops hit the ground in Shoalwater Bay
for Talisman Saber 2013, a pair of underwater glid-
ers slid beneath the waves to keep an eye on the
A pair of missile-shaped Slocum Gliders moni-
tored sea temperature, depth and conductivity then
beamed their data to the US for possible use in plan-
A research engineer from Defence Science
and Technology Organisation's (DSTO) Maritime
Division, Phil Jackson, said the gliders were dropped
in the water on July 6 and collected 10 days later.
"They operate autonomously and we control
them remotely," he said.
"By remotely sampling the undersea environment
we'll get a better indication of what the environment
is actually like.
"Better knowledge of the environment will lead
to better decisions."
By measuring the conductivity of the water, Mr
Jackson said the gliders could prove useful in anti-
"You can sort of see what's a good area to be
able to operate your sonar. Where there might get
good detection ranges in one place, in another area
there might only be limited ranges."
The gliders use minimal power dropping through
the water and gliding forward before reaching a cer-
tain depth and rising to keep their forward motion,
travelling at 0.7 knots.
Apart from submarine warfare, the gilders could
also give the edge in mine-clearing operations,
according to Mr Jackson.
"It's fitted with an optical sensor which measures
the attenuation of the light at 530 nanometres," he
"From that we can work out what the visibility is
Every four hours, the glider surfaced to beam
its data back to DSTO in Adelaide and sent it over
the internet to the US Naval Oceanographic Office
which quality checked the raw data.
The US Navy Research Laboratory then added
the new information to its oceanographic computer
An Australian Navy meteorological officer in San
Diego then had access to the underwater conditions
around Shoalwater Bay.
"He could look at it and feed it to those interested
to help in their decision making," Mr Jackson said.
Keeping watch underwater
BEAM ME UP: DSTO engineers
Phil Jackson, left, and James
Gourley retrieve a Slocum Glider
off the coast of Yeppoon in
Queensland, as part of the build-
up to Exercise Talisman Saber
2013. Aside from sampling the
undersea environment, the
glider could also be useful in
submarine warfare and mine-
Photos: CPL Jake Sims
CPOML-P Joy Newman
A TEAM from HMAS Coonawarra
and Attack Four will hit the road on
August 31 to support the Northern
Territory Variety Bash.
The nine members will travel
from Tanunda, South Australia,
through sheep country to the
Flinders Ranges, Oodnadatta Track,
desert county, a cattle station, the
Red Centre and Alice Springs to Ti
Tree, Northern Territory.
They will stop at schools and
raise money for children with spe-
cial needs and their families.
The Top End Navy Bash Team
has already raised $13,326 in spon-
sorship money for Variety NT, edg-
ing the group closer to its fundrais-
ing goal of $15,000.
Coonawarra's Variety Bash
Team Leader AB Dean Bailey said
he was proud of the team's efforts.
"They have hosted barbecues and
golf days in the local Darwin area
and have collected Cash 4 Cans and
donations from generous sponsors,"
AB Bailey said.
"We look forward to visiting the
remote schools along the way this
year. The bash car 'Daisie' which
has been transformed to look like a
ship, has a new fog horn which now
makes various animal noises, which
is sure to delight the children."
He said Daisie was in top shape
and would be freighted to Tanunda,
South Australia, in readiness for the
The OIC of the Bash car this
year will be CPO Marty Sammut,
of Attack Four.
If you would like to make a donation
to Navy's Top End Variety Bash Team,
contact CPOML-P Newman at joy.new-
Honk, make way for Navy bashers
JUMP STARTERS: The team from HMAS Coonawarra, from left, CPO Joy Newman, LS William Millard,
CPO Shane McCallum, AB Dipak Nand, Larraine Pattel, AB Alex Davies and AB Dean Bailey can't wait
to hit the road.
Photo: ABIS Kathy Tuddenham
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