In the News
This Drone Once Fought Wars. Now It’s Fighting Climate Change
THIS MARCH, A truck pulled onto a runway in Oregon, towing a miniature plane for a test flight. At 650 pounds, the plane was too large to be a toy, but too small to fit a pilot. That’s because the ArcticShark isn’t a toy, and it doesn’t need a pilot. It’s a drone.
Dispatches from Oceans ’16: Exploring Other Oceans
How autonomous underwater vehicles are fundamentally changing the way humans are exploring the ocean was the focus of the first plenary session at Oceans ’16.
Robot Boats are Sailing the Seven Seas to Predict El Nino
Self-driving boats, kitted out with scientific sensors, could hold the key to avoiding the next major weather disaster. The boats, created by Saildrone, are being used by the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory to enhance data gathered from the Pacific Ocean, where water temperature patterns are helping scientists understand the El Niño phenomenon. Being able to predict the next event could save millions of dollars and countless lives.
No Sailors Needed: Robot Sailboats Scour the Oceans for Data
Two robotic sailboats trace lawn-mower-style paths across the violent surface of the Bering Sea, off the coast of Alaska. The boats are counting fish — haddock, to be specific — with a fancy version of the fish finder sonar you’d find on a bass fishing boat.
Sailboat-Like Drone Helps NOAA Study the Arctic Ecosystem
Drones are changing the way we look at coastlines. In a conference call on Thursday about the use of drones in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Jessica N. Cross, an oceanographer at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, talked about the use of Saildrone, a sailboat-sized, commercially produced UAV in monitoring populations of fish and other information about the changing oceans in the Arctic.