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Navigating an Ocean of Data, Delivering a World of Possibilities

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

Saildrone Captures Video Inside Category 4 Hurricane Fiona

For the second year, NOAA and Saildrone are hurricane chasing with uncrewed wind-powered vehicles.

September 22, 2022

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Whale-protecting Ocean Drones Accelerate Offshore Wind

Saildrone will use ground-breaking technology and uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) to protect marine wildlife, enabling the acceleration of offshore wind energy.

September 16, 2022

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With Soaring Temperatures and Extreme Weather Events, Ocean Data Has Never Been More Important

Two ocean drones are collecting data in the Gulf of Mexico to help monitor weather and the impact of climate change.

August 24, 2022

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Ocean Drones Launched in Lake Superior to Support $7B Great Lakes Fishery

Collecting data to improve fish counts, monitor environmental health, and help to protect native fish species.

August 10, 2022

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Hurricane Drones Bravely Heading Back to the Atlantic… And the Gulf of Mexico

In partnership with NOAA, Saildrone is again launching a fleet of ocean drones to collect critical hurricane data to make coastal communities safer.

August 3, 2022

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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 and Saildrone Surveyor are capitalized.

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

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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