Enhancing European Ocean Observations & Forecasting

One Saildrone Explorer spent 370 days at sea collecting CO2 data in a remote area of the Tropical Atlantic to improve global carbon projections and more sustainably manage ocean resources.


Days at sea

11,910 nm

Total distance sailed


Amount of CO2 emitted

Access Data Set


Sustainable, effective long-term management of the Blue Economy requires regular and accurate measurements of essential ocean variables. The data required to enable this is scarce due to the collection barriers—the high cost and the logistical challenges of traditional methods such as research ships and buoys.

The EuroSea project, coordinated by GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, is a multi-national effort to enhance the European ocean observing and forecasting system. Two of EuroSea’s primary goals are to: 1) Deliver ocean observations and forecasts that will advance scientific knowledge about ocean climate, marine ecosystems, and their vulnerability to human impacts; and 2) demonstrate how the ocean is an essential part of an economically viable and healthy society—not only today but for decades to come.


The mission was conducted in a very biologically productive and nutrient-rich area of the ocean, but an incredibly difficult area for navigation, with extremely strong currents and light winds. This is an incredible testament to the endurance of the Saildrone Explorer class of vehicles.

SD-1079 sailed 11,910 nautical miles (13, 796 miles or 22,057 km) and spent 370 days at sea collecting CO2 data to improve global carbon projections and help enable sustainable ocean resource management. Saildrone Explorers are powered exclusively by wind, and therefore have a zero operational carbon footprint.

SD 1079’s voyage set a new Saildrone record for autonomous, uncrewed endurance, beating our previous record holder, SD 1020, by 31 nm.

"The completed mission with its large number of carbon measurements in this remote study area off West Africa, plus the measurements from the transit times of the saildrone, has created a reference data set that allows us to validate the measurements from other assets on the water—the Argo floats and PIRATA buoys."

Björn Fiedler

Marine chemist at GEOMAR and principal investigator

Scientific Papers

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