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series: Atlantic Crossing: A Robot's Daring Mission
air date: 5/08/13 1:00 AM
Visionary oceanographer Scott Glenn leads a team of passionate and daring scientists as they race against time to launch the first autonomous underwater robot across the vast and dangerous Atlantic Ocean. Destined for Spain, the 8-foort bright yellow robot named RU27, or "Scarlet," is launched off the coast of New Jersey. Throughout her journey, data collected by Scarlet is fed into oceanographic navigation and forecasting models. Engulfed by the powerful ocean, our robot hero faces extreme weather conditions, ship traffic and aggressive sea life that can terminate her mission. With limited power and never before tested hardware, Scarlet faces daunting challenges. Fighting currents and storms, she breaks world records. When unknown ocean organisms begin attaching to Scarlet, scientists risk their lives in the high seas of the mid-Atlantic to free her of biological growth. If Scarlet can successfully cross the vast Atlantic Ocean, her historic mission will inspire a future robotic oceanographic observation network critical for monitoring and predicting climate change. The robot hero, "Scarlet" now has her own exhibit in the Smithsonian Museum's Ocean Hall. "Atlantic Crossing" has been screened at the Liberty Science Center, Smithsonian Museum, NOAA and US State Department as well as 8 international film festivals.
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