Media Room

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Navigating an ocean of data. Delivering a world of possibility.

Saildrone is a US business that designs, manufactures and operates a fleet of the world’s most capable, proven and trusted, uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs). Predominantly powered by wind and solar, Saildrone USVs have a minimal carbon footprint, and are equipped with advanced sensors and AI technology to deliver critical data and intelligence from any ocean, at any time of year. Solutions include maritime domain awareness, ocean data and ocean mapping. Saildrone operations and data collection services are encrypted and secure.

Saildrone's patented wing technology was born from 10 years of R&D in pursuit of the land speed record. The company is headquartered in Alameda, CA, and backed by The Schmidt Family Foundation, Social Capital, Capricorn’s Technology Impact Fund, Lux Capital, Exor Seeds, and Horizons Ventures.

Media Releases

NDBC Replaces Weather Buoy with Saildrone USV in National Marine Sanctuary

NOAA's National Data Buoy Center replaced a moored coastal weather buoy in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary with a Saildrone Explorer to mitigate impacts caused by mooring material.

September 26, 2023

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Saildrone and NOAA Secure New Guinness Record for Measuring Hurricane Winds

The 2024 Guinness Book of World Records includes for the first time the “highest wind speed recorded by a USV,” earned during Saildrone and NOAA’s 2021 Atlantic Hurricane mission.

September 12, 2023

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New Acoustic Technology Protects Marine Mammals while Enabling Renewable Offshore Energy

Saildrone and RPS are using smart tools to provide long-term monitoring of endangered species over large areas slated for offshore wind development.

September 6, 2023

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Saildrone Redeploys “Hurricane Sam” Ocean Drone for 2023 Mission

The redeployment of the SD 1045, famous for capturing the first video from inside a major hurricane at sea, marks a significant milestone in hurricane research.

July 17, 2023

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Saildrone Deploys a Record 12 Ocean Drones to Study Hurricanes

The Saildrone Explorers are one of several tools NOAA is using to improve hurricane forecasting—and keep coastal communities safer.

June 28, 2023

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Saildrone Surveyor Assets

Saildrone Surveyor sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge toward the Pacific Ocean.Click to expand imageSaildrone Surveyor sailing in front of the Bay Bridge and San Francisco skyline.Click to expand image

Saildrone Explorer Assets

Writing About Saildrone

Saildrone (capitalized) refers to the company Saildrone, Inc. and should be capitalized.

The vehicle, saildrone, is written in lower case. Specific saildrones are known by their number, i.e. SD 1020.

Saildrone Explorer, Saildrone Voyager, and Saildrone Surveyor are capitalized.

Saildrones may also be referred to as unmanned/uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs), Saildrone USVs, Saildrone vehicles, or ocean drones.

SAILDRONE™️ is a registered trademark of Saildrone, Inc. and should not be used to refer to any other brand of USV.

Quick Facts

  • Saildrones are wind and solar powered
  • A trim tab on the tail adjusts the wing angle to the wind similarto how an elevator trim tab controls the pitch of an aircraft
  • Saildrone has two base vehicles:
    Saildrone Explorer – the hull is 7 m (23 ft) long, the wing is 4.5 m (15 ft) tall, the keel draws 1.8 m (6 ft)
    Saildrone Surveyor – the hull is 22 m (72 ft), the wing is 18 m (59 ft), the keel draws 4 m (13 ft)
  • Saildrone’s current fleet is made up of Generation 5 & 6 Saildrone Explorers and the Surveyor
  • Saildrones are designed for missions of up to 12 months
  • Saildrone USVs navigate autonomously from prescribed waypoint to waypoint while staying within a user-defined safety corridor, though actively supervised by a Saildrone Mission Control operator
  • Saildrone USVs carry approximately 20 science sensors to collect in-situ meteorological and oceanographic data
  • Saildrone USVs are not for sale; Saildrone offers mission-as-a-service (MAAS) and data-as-a-service (DAAS) solutions
  • Saildrone has operated Arctic, Antarctic, Pacific, Atlantic, and coastal missions collecting data related to weather and climate science, carbon uptake, sustainable fisheries management, animal tracking, satellite calibration and validation, oil detection, and bathymetry

Media Requests

Saildrone uses a digital asset manager to distribute high-resolution assets (images, video) for editorial use. Please use the form below to request access or to schedule an interview.

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