In the News
Adaptable and driven by renewable energy, saildrones voyage into remote waters
In March 2009, engineer Richard Jenkins broke the world land speed record for a wind-powered vehicle by sailing a bright green sailboat on wheels across a dried lakebed in Nevada at 126 miles per hour. Now, after many engineering developments and an orange paint job, Jenkins’ design autonomously sails the sea gathering ecologic, oceanic, and atmospheric data in the employ of NOAA.
This Armada of Saildrones Could Conquer the Ocean
Engineer and adventurer Richard Jenkins has made oceangoing robots that could revolutionize fishing, drilling, and environmental science. His aim: a thousand of them. Chris Meinig is quoted.
Fleet of sailboat drones could monitor climate change’s effect on oceans
Two 7-meter-long sailboats are set to return next month to California, after nearly 8 months tacking across the Pacific Ocean. Puttering along at half-speed, they will be heavy with barnacles and other growth. No captains will be at their helms. Meghan Cronin is quoted.
These ocean drones are trawling for climate change data
A fleet of unmanned boats is traveling from the Arctic to the equator, gathering vital data on climate change.
The autonomous vessels -- called "Saildrones" -- resemble bright red surfboards. Each is fitted with a 20-foot-high carbon fiber sail, and 16 sensors that test variables including carbon dioxide, acidity, currents and water temperature.
A U.S. Collaboration Between Military and Research Science
Warming in Arctic ecosystems over the last several decades threatens animals and people alike, while melting ice has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in maritime activity. Yet study of the Arctic has been limited by its location and extreme weather conditions. New technologies and capabilities are necessary to operate in the region, and as attention to the high north grows, researchers and engineers are finding opportunities to expand their work despite uncertain funding. Tight budgets have pushed scientists to partner with institutions such as the U.S. Coast Guard in order to conduct quality research.