National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2024

Observing extreme ocean and weather events using innovative Saildrone uncrewed surface vehicles

Zhang, D., A. Chiodi, C. Zhang, G. Foltz, M. Cronin, C.W. Mordy, J. Cross, E.D. Cokelet, J. Zhang, C. Meinig, N. Lawrence-Slavas, P.J. Stabeno, and R. Jenkins

Oceanography, 36(2–3), 70–77, doi: 10.5670/oceanog.2023.214, View open access article online at Oceanography (external link) (2023)

Extreme ocean events and severe weather systems have large environmental impacts but are under-observed due to their harsh conditions and associated challenges with deployments of in situ observing platforms. Through a public-private partnership, the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) has developed the saildrone uncrewed surface vehicle (USV) into a viable air-sea interaction observing platform that can be utilized by the broader ocean research community. PMEL and the NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory have demonstrated the potential of USVs for observing the Arctic marginal ice zone during the seasonal Arctic ice retreat and for observing the extreme ocean and weather conditions inside major hurricanes. These USVs will be an essential part of the Global Ocean Observing System, providing real-time data to improve prediction of rapid climate change and extreme ocean and weather events and to reduce their harmful impacts.

Feature Publications | Outstanding Scientific Publications

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