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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

ABS Issues Approval in Principle for Saildrone Uncrewed Surface Vehicles

AIP, an important first step to full classification of a new maritime vehicle, was awarded to the Saildrone Voyager and Surveyor.

June 7, 2023

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Seabed 2030 and Saildrone Partner to Advance Global Ocean Mapping

The Memorandum of Understanding outlines a shared commitment to leveraging technological innovation to make bathymetric data available to the global community.

April 19, 2023

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Saildrone Scales Production of New Mid-size USV

To meet the growing demand for advanced data-collection capabilities at sea, Saildrone has developed the 33-foot Voyager designed for near-shore ocean mapping and maritime security missions.

March 28, 2023

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Saildrone Completes World-first Uncrewed Alaska Ocean Mapping Mission

Saildrone surveyed more than 45,000 square kilometers of previously unknown ocean floor around Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and off the California coast to address ocean exploration gaps in remote areas.

March 7, 2023

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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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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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