There are many ways that our oceans and waterways get contaminated. Whether it is nitrate run off from farmland, harmful algae blooms, or oil spills, these events all have an effect on the delicate balance of the ocean ecosystem. Quantifying these events, and assessing the effects on the natural habitat is requires a persistent presence, often in a busy or congested waterway.
Saildrone's USV are equipped with environmental sensors to detect and monitor environmental health.
Working with ECOGIG, part of the Gulf of Mexico Research Institute, Saildrone conducted multiple long duration missions in the Gulf of Mexico during 2015. Saildrone Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) successfully located and tracked natural oil seeps and measured the biological responses to these seeps in the process. Positive oil ID's were confirmed with manned overflights.
Saildrone's proven ability to detect events like oil seeps and maintain a persistent presence is a valuable tool for mitigating risk of environmental or economic impact, and also allows prompt cleanup response should an event be detected.
Photo taken from manned ECOGIG flight used to visually confirm the Saildrone USV's detection of oil seeps.
Aerial image of the Saildrone USV as captured during a 2015 Gulf of Mexico mission, by the plane flown to confirm oil IDs.