Science

Saildrone at OceanObs’19

Join one of four USV working groups to participate in the further development of the Saildrone global surface observing network.

By
Saildrone
,
on
September 10, 2019

Ocean processes drive the planet’s weather, climate, food supply, coastal land use, and many other large-scale systems. Understanding these processes is critical, but data collection is difficult and costly, and efforts are often disparate. OceanObs’19 will bring together members of the global scientific community, incubate the partnerships required to build an integrated, cost-effective, fit-for-purpose ocean observing system, and mobilize stakeholders to develop programs and policies that will lead to a better understanding of Earth’s ocean systems and inform sustainable use of ocean resources. Saildrone is proud to be a participant and a sponsor at this decadal conference.

Saildrone manufacturers and operates a global fleet of wind and solar-powered unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) designed to augment the global ocean observing system (GOOS) capabilities and make in-situ ocean observation cost-effective at scale. Each USV carries a payload of science sensors to collect essential variables above and below the sea surface and transmits that data in real time back to shore.

Saildrone has established a robust partnership framework with the scientific community to develop and refine the Saildrone sensor suite and manage the resulting data. For the past five years, we’ve been working with scientists and researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) to deploy the Saildrone platform in the Arctic and Tropical Pacific and rigorously test its capabilities. We believe such public-private partnerships are imperative to maintain and advance quality control and a transparent chain of custody, and ensure that data follows the FAIR principle—findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable.

Saildrone USVs can be deployed from any dock and perform data collection missions in the harshest ocean environments for up to 12 months. There are currently more than 30 saildrones deployed around the globe on fisheries, climate, carbon, and bathymetry missions. We offer a fully managed mission service, including USV lease, operation, data management, and distribution for a fixed daily price per mission day, with no upfront investment and without the need for additional ship time. Data is transmitted via the Iridium satellite network and made available in interoperable NetCDF format.

saildrone deployment
SD 1028 is deployed for the 2019 West Coast Fisheries mission. Saildrones can be deployed and retrieved from any dock.

Join the working groups

To further the active involvement of the science community in the growing Saildrone global surface observing network and promote active cooperation between various science agencies and fields, we’re establishing four USV working groups: 

The surface flux working group (USV-SF) will focus on aspects of surface flux measurements including air/sea interaction sensors, raw measurement processing methods, validation against reference assets, quality control best practice, data format evolution (e.g. for ADCPs), and model assimilation.

The biogeochemistry working group (USV-BCG) will focus on biogeochemical measurements including fluorometry (Chl-a, backscatter), hyperspectral sensors, atmospheric and dissolved pCO2, and pH measurements. Sensor calibration at scale, validation against reference assets including remote sensing products, QC best practice, and model assimilation.

The fisheries acoustics (USV-FAST) working group will focus on bio-acoustics including real-time signal processing for feature detection, machine learning applications for species differentiation, evolution of NetCDF formats for echo sounder data distribution, and enhancement of acoustics with optical (e.g., stereoscopic cameras), and eDNA measurements.

The data and information management (USV-DIM) working group will focus on data flow, from sensor to archive. This includes discussion of open and interoperable formats for new sensors, QC/QA plans and partnership with science communities, NRT data distribution via various networks, and long-term archiving strategies to maximize the scientific impact of Saildrone data sets.

Find us at OceanObs’19

Please visit us at booth 130 to get an up-close look at a saildrone and have a chat with us to discuss current and potential missions and capabilities. 

To join one of the Saildrone USV working groups, drop a business card into the corresponding box and we’ll get in touch to formalize your WG participation.

Not able to attend OceanObs’19 but still want to join a working group? Contact us.


Resources:

Christian Meinig, Eugene F. Burger, et al., “Public-Private Partnerships to Advance Regional Ocean-Observing Capabilities: A Saildrone and NOAA-PMEL Case Study and Future Considerations to Expand to Global Scale Observing,”Frontiers in Marine Science 6:448, accessed August 29, 2019