An Autonomous Vehicle for Deep-Ocean Mapping Completed its' Maiden Voyage from San Francisco to Honolulu
Saildrone says it's now building a fleet of the crewless Saildrone Surveyors, which will help map the Earth’s oceans over the next decade.
An autonomous vehicle for deep-ocean mapping completed its maiden voyage from San Francisco to Honolulu. Saildrone says it's now building a fleet of the crewless Saildrone Surveyors, which will help map the Earth’s oceans over the next decade.
- U.S.-based Saildrone debuted its 23-ft unmanned surface vehicle, powered by solar energy and wind, in 2018.
- A 72-ft version, called Saildrone Surveyor, launched earlier this year. The autonomous vessel relies on sonar to map the seafloor at depths of 23,000 feet, as well as gather DNA samples for analysis.
- During its 28-day maiden voyage, Surveyor sailed 2,250 nautical miles and mapped 6,400 square nautical miles of seafloor.
- Saildrone says it will apply Surveyor technology to other markets, including homeland security and defense applications, that have been typically reserved for larger ships.
- It also announced plans to send a small fleet of vehicles into hurricane-prone areas to study the storm systems up close.
- Currently, an estimated 80% of the seafloor is unmapped.