Maritime Domain Awareness

Low-cost autonomous solutions to advance MDA/ISR for defense and civilian partners

Saildrone’s fleet of autonomous vehicles are specially equipped to advance maritime domain awareness, providing the “eyes and ears” at sea.

Maritime domain awareness (MDA) is the effective understanding of anything associated with the safety and security of the global maritime domain, including but not limited to illegal fishing, drug enforcement, and limiting intrusion into protected marine sanctuaries. New stresses on ocean regions require new solutions to improve maritime domain awareness and support intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

Saildrone’s autonomous platforms provide persistent, cost-effective solutions for real-time data acquisition. Our proprietary onboard machine learning algorithm fuses sensor data, recognizes targets of interest, and alerts the end-user in near real-time —the “eyes” at sea. An advanced acoustics instrument package provides the “ears” at sea.

Purpose-built autonomous MDA solutions

Innovative commercial technology solutions that identify, adapt, and deliver critical information to keep front-line personnel safer, more effective, and one step ahead.

Intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance (ISR) – Operating above and below the sea surface providing strategic observation, vehicle tracking, and communications.

Force protection – Saildrone USVs offer enhanced threat detection for vulnerable assets.

Law enforcement and maritime safety – Detection and alerting for multiple use cases including piracy, narcotics, human trafficking, or illegal fishing activities.

Ecosystem monitoring – Oil detection and spread mitigation, monitoring activity in marine sanctuaries and protected areas.

Saildrone – 7 m SUSV

The 7 m saildrone is a small unmanned surface vehicle (SUSV) equipped with equipped with a specially built optical camera detection system with an integrated GPU processor for 360° visibility and onboard machine learning that fuses collected data and AIS information. With a speed of 2.5 knots and a range of detection of 2 nm, a fleet of SUSVs is ideal for line patrols in near coastal environments, protecting critical infrastructure.

Saildrone Surveyor – 22 m MUSV

The 22 m Saildrone Surveyor is Saildrone’s medium unmanned surface vehicle (MUSV). It is equipped with a specially built optical camera detection system with an integrated GPU processor providing 360° visibility and onboard machine learning that fuses data from onboard AIS, infra-red cameras for nighttime detection, and radar.

This larger platform offers a wider detection range due to significantly higher placement of the sensor array—15 meters above the sea surface. With a speed of 10 knots and a range of detection of 20 nautical miles, the Surveyor provides persistent and scalable MDA capabilities 24 hours per day in any ocean—and in any weather conditions.

Both vehicles can be equipped with advanced acoustic technology to address sub-surface ISR objectives.

Why Saildrone?

  • Persistent MDA along any 200 nm line in any ocean
  • 24/7 autonomous operations monitored by staffed remote bridge
  • Near-real-time data transmission via satellite communications
  • Autonomous transit to survey area
  • Long-distance/long-term mission durations up to 12 months without returning to port for maintenance or refueling
  • Reduced fuel consumption and carbon footprint
  • Data interoperability
  • Defense and commercial configurations available
  • COLREGS compliant

Customize Your MDA Solution

Interested in exploring how unmanned technologies can help you achieve your MDA/ISR objectives?

Tell us about your mission needs and get started planning your custom solution.

Latest News

Saildrone MDA case studies and related science articles

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Week 2: The Saildrone MDA solution is made up of a specially built camera array and advanced onboard artificial intelligence and machine learning software.

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Week 1: A fleet of six saildrones was launched from Honolulu to demonstrate how artificial intelligence and machine learning could be used to support the US Coast Guard mission.

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Saildrone is using a specially built camera system and advanced acoustic technology combined with machine learning to identify activity at sea.

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