ENRIC SALA/Courtesy of National Geographic Society



First introduced in September of 2013, the SeaExplorer is a rechargeable glider designed primarily for oceanographic exploration. A product of a collaboration between French company ACSA and several French oceanographic institutes, the SeaExplorer surfaces intermittently during missions lasting up to two months, in order to send data and receive new mission commands via satellite.

Smooth sailing: The torpedo shaped SeaExplorer is intended to prevent snags or entanglements underwater and has the advantage of reducing drag as well. Two internal motors give the Seaexplorer it a wide range of motion.

A nose-full: The nose of the SeaExplorer is designed to receive different payloads for different missions. These “noses” can hold sensors or radars for different missions – so you can have your water quality nose, illegal fishing detection nose, etc. They are designed with open source firmware to integrate customized sensors if needed. These off-the-shelf options reduce the time needed to customize a payload for every new mission and make the SeaExplorer a multi-mission glider.

Watertight: SeaExplorer is one of the first gliders to rely on rechargeable lithium-batteries, eliminating the need to open or close the craft to change battery. This protects the internal components and provides a cost-effective battery solution. While the SeaExplorer doesn’t need to return home for a change of battery, it does need a good 20 hours on surface to recharge when low.

Gold medalist: The SeaExplorer has set records for duration and distance for spending two months at sea traveling a total of 1,183 kilometers on a single battery change.


Length: 2m
Depth: 750m
Speed: 1 knot
Range: 1,200km
Endurance: 2 months

French Riviera
  • Company: ACSA ALCEN

  • Type: Underwater Unmanned Vehicles (UUV)

  • Direct Cost:

  • Indirect Cost:

  • Link: Product Website

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MANU SAN FELIX/Courtesy of National Geographic Society

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