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Aquatic Drones to Set Sail Off Australia

26 January 2018

The state-of-the-art unmanned ocean surface vehicles, Saildrones, will be deployed for the first time in Australian waters. Source: CSIROThe state-of-the-art unmanned ocean surface vehicles, Saildrones, will be deployed for the first time in Australian waters. Source: CSIRO

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation of Australia (CSIRO) is partnering with San Francisco-based ocean technology start-up, Saildrone, to improve measurement and monitoring in Australian waters and the Southern Ocean. The initiative will deploy state-of-the-art unmanned ocean surface vehicles, Saildrones, to collect more information about sea-surface temperature, salinity and ocean carbon.

The solar- and wind-powered Saildrones can be at sea for up to 12 months at a time to assist in science missions, including conducting stock assessments, uploading data from subsurface sensors or responding to marine emergencies. The unmanned surface vehicles can be controlled remotely from anywhere in the world and are equipped with both automatic identification systems and ship avoidance systems to alert and avoid other ocean users.

CSIRO will collaborate on the development of Saildrone technology beginning with equipping the vehicles with specialized sensors designed to measure ocean carbon, as well as provide biomass estimates in the water column.

To contact the author of this article, email sue.himmelstein@ieeeglobalspec.com


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