National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce

What's New

Saildrone 1045 in the water next to a ship, docked at a pier in Bermuda

Saildrone 1045 docks in Bermuda after its historic mission into the eye of a Category 4 hurricane in 2021. Credit: Saildrone Inc. / Ali Hochberg/Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences

Saildrone on the water with labels to point out sensors, cameras, and navigational instruments

This photo illustration summarizes oceanographic and atmospheric sensors, along with cameras and navigational instruments carried by the Saildrone Explorers during the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane mission. Credit: Saildrone Inc.

January 26, 2024

Hurricane intensity predictions would benefit from timely, more accurate ocean temperature, salinity and wave measurements, NOAA researchers find.

On September 30, 2021, a saildrone uncrewed surface vehicle made history by intercepting the eyewall of Hurricane Sam in the northwestern tropical Atlantic, recording a viral video of what it’s like to be tossed around by 100 mile-per-hour winds and 30-foot high waves.

The Guinness Book of World Records later certified that a 126.4 mile-per-hour wind gust recorded by the bright orange 23-foot saildrone in the core of the Category 4 storm was a new world record for an uncrewed surface vehicle.

But the most long-lasting impact of Saildrone Explorer SD 1045’s trailblazing research voyage may come from the continuous readings collected by the... more

PMEL in the News

October 17, 2023

On a windy day in October 2013, a small team of engineers and boatbuilders watched the first wind-powered ocean drone disappear over the horizon, bound for Hawaii 2,200 nautical miles away. That journey took 34 days. Fast forward 10 years, and Saildrone’s fleet of uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs...

October 16, 2023

El Niño is expected to gain strength and flaunt its muscle this winter, and forecasters are closely watching ocean temperatures to determine just how strong the El Niño weather pattern that developed over the summer will get in the coming months. Mike McPhaden is quoted. 

September 23, 2023

The U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet did more than help win World War II: As its ships made their way through the Pacific Ocean during the war, naval personnel used daily logbooks to record vital weather and climate data at a time when such observations dwindled worldwide. This publication highlights...