US Coast Guard MDA Demonstration

The USCG examined the feasibility, costs, and benefits of using low-cost autonomous vehicles to provide persistent maritime domain awareness in remote areas of the ocean.



operation area

Pacific Ocean

deployment location

Honolulu, HI


Six saildrones were stationed off the coast of Hawaii for 30-day demonstration maritime domain awareness capabilities. Each week highlighted a real-world use case for persistent MDA: general traffic monitoring, illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing, search and patrol, and port security. The vehicles are equipped with an optical array with onboard GPU, and machine learning software that fuses the data from all sensors, recognizes targets of interest, and alerts the end-user in near real time.


Saildrone maintained a fleet at sea for four weeks, without incident, demonstrating persistent MDA in an operational environment.