Scarlet Knight Partners Teledyne Webb Research NOAA Rutgers University DHS IOOS
Sponsors - RUCOOL Office of Naval Research NSF NOAA Department of Defence DHS NASA NOPP BPU NJ DEP NJ Dept of Transportation PSEG Vetlesen Foundation MOORE Foundation RUCOOL
Mission Accomplished


On April 27, 2009, students and scientists from Rutgers University launched a small underwater robotic glider off the coast of New Jersey. The glider was christened The Scarlet Knight by Zdenka Willis, director of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System. While previous explorers like Columbus and Lindbergh used boats or planes to cross the Atlantic, The Scarlet Knight will attempt to be the first underwater robot to cross the Atlantic Ocean. With help from a number of international partners, students from the Coastal Ocean Observation Lab will pilot The Scarlet Knight Glider on its eight-month voyage. Read More

The Scarlet Knight's Mission is Complete!

See The Scarlet Knight Summary on your own computer in Google Earth


Latest Glider Data
As of: 12/04/09
Days at Sea
221 days
7409.60 km
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7 Fun Facts About RU27

  1. RU27 called home over 1000 times during the mission to report her location and send/receive data.
  2. RU27 moved her buoyancy pump approximately 22,000 times, which allowed her to
  3. Complete approximately 22,000 inflections, 11,000 dives and 11,000 climbs.
  4. The raw data shows that Scarlet traveled vertically approximately 2200 kilometers (almost 1400 miles). Explanation: Glider goes more forward then up and down when it is flying.
  5. Almost 16 MB of data was transferred via satellite during the mission. This is likely low for a 220-day deployment but that is due to an energy/efficiency/surface risk habit.
  6. Scarlet compared to a car: A gallon of gas has approximately 131,940,000 J of energy; an efficient car can travel 30 miles on that gallon so approximately 4,398,000 J/mile. Scarlet, with currents, did 4598 miles burning 27,898,182 J having an average of about 6,067 J/mile. End result: Scarlet can cover 725 x more distance than a car with the same energy. She is a 21,700-mpg car equivalent (remember though car much bigger and goes faster!). A car could only travel 6.3 miles on the same amount of energy that Scarlet Knight used to cross the Atlantic.
  7. Scarlet compared to the Rockefeller Christmas tree: The Christmas tree at Rockefeller plaza used to use approximately 3,510 kilowatt hours / day meaning Scarlet's energy used would last 3 minutes. However, in 2007 they switched to LED diodes meaning that one could now power the tree for about 8.1 minutes or send glider across the Atlantic ocean.

- Tina Haskins (12/12/09)


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