Bering Sea, Pacific Ocean
Exploration and seafloor mapping of this region has the potential to unlock new opportunities for conservation, climate science, and the Blue Economy. This mission was designed to test the limits of Saildrone Surveyor-class vehicles for remote ocean mapping and environmental sampling.
SD-1200 also carried an environmental DNA (eDNA) sensor from the Monteray Bay Aquarium and Research Institute (MBARI) to collect data about marine biodiversity and ocean health.
For 52 days between August and October, the Surveyor mapped 16,254 square kilometers (6,276 square mile) of unknown seafloor around the Aleutian Islands. Mission collaborators were able to follow the data collection in real time. Preliminary data revealed unprecedented detail of the Aleutian arc seafloor, including previously unknown structures, some of which indicate potential hydrothermal vents.
The Surveyor mapped an additional 29,720 square kilometers (8,665 square nautical miles) of the US EEZ and discovered a previously unknown seamount standing approximately 1,000 meters (3,200 feet) high from the seabed.