Maritime Domain Awareness

Saildrone’s autonomous platforms are specially equipped to provide persistent, cost-effective solutions for real-time data acquisition to increase maritime security—expanding information and decision advantage by providing ML-enabled "eyes and ears" at sea, above and below the surface, 24/7.

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Days at sea: 10,450
Miles sailed: 657,567
Samples collected: 407M
Explorer Emissions: Zero

Missions

Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR)
Operating above and below the sea surface providing strategic observation, vehicle tracking, and communications.
Force Protection
Saildrone uncrewed surface vehicles offer enhanced threat detection for vulnerable assets.
Law Enforcement & 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.

Maximizing information and decision advantage in real time with uncrewed 24/7 operation 365 days with ML-enabled target detection.

Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vehicle equipped for maritime domain awareness missions in Hawaii.
Saildrone Mission Portal provides real-time alerts during MDA missions.

A Protected Planet

Saildrone’s autonomous platforms are agile, mobile, scalable, networked, and sustainable, providing persistent, cost-effective solutions for real-time interoperable 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.

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 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 vehicles also carry an advanced scientific sensor suite that collects oceanographic and meteorological data while on MDA missions. This data is critical for understanding the impacts of a changing climate, which are predicted to strain economies and societies worldwide and could directly affect national security.

ML-enabled Maritime Domain Awareness
Saildrones utilize machine learning models running onboard GPU compute processors to deliver real-time, visual detection of targets that are otherwise not transmitting their position. These detection events are then fused with other data sources—radar, AIS, and acoustics—to deliver a fully informed picture of the surrounding maritime domain.

  • Satellite enabled, global, secure, C2 infrastructure
  • Encrypted communications via VPN over iridium
  • Secure web-based “Mission Portal” for data analysis
  • API for data integration into other systems
  • FedRAMP certified
AI-Enabled Maritime Domain Awareness

Sample Concept of Operations

Saildrone delivers real-time 24/7 ISR coverage on the high seas and littorals.

  • Long range
  • Long endurance
  • Suite of MDA sensors
  • Heavy weather proven

Payloads

  • Radar
  • AIS
  • Electro optical
  • Acoustic array in development

Why Saildrone?

Cost-effective, persistent MDA in any ocean
24/7 autonomous operations monitoring with real-time data transmission via satellite communications
Up to 365 days without returning to port for maintenance or refueling
Reduced fuel consumption and carbon footprint
Secure, encrypted data, vehicle to cloud
Defense and commercial configurations available

Purpose-built Autonomous MDA Solutions

Innovative commercial technology solutions that identify, learn, 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 uncrewed surface vehicles offer enhanced threat detection for vulnerable assets.

Law Enforcement & 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 Voyager

Saildrone Voyager – 33-foot (10 m) Uncrewed Surface Vehicle
The 33-foot (10 m) Saildrone Voyager is designed to carry a payload of sensors to collect data above and below the sea surface. A 21-foot (6 m) wing provides wind power for forward propulsion and solar panels power onboard science and navigation instruments. Saildrones can be equipped with an acoustic payload for specific mission requirements: a single-beam or multibeam sonar for bathymetry, an echo sounder for fisheries surveys, or an ADCP for current measurements.

Specifications

  • 33-foot (10 m) long
  • Composite hull and keel
  • Hybrid diesel/electric powertrain
  • Wind propulsion 4 knots avg.
  • Electric propulsion
    • 5 knots cruise speed
    • 8 knots sprint speed
  • >180 days endurance
  • Radar, cameras, ML
  • Passive acoustics
  • AIS transceiver
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MDA Demonstration for United States Coast Guard

The US Coast Guard conducted a successful operational demonstration highlighting Saildrone’s ability to augment MDA operations traditionally conducted by ship and airborne assets in the Pacific Ocean.

In October 2020, Saildrone performed a successful 30-day proof-of-concept demonstration for the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to show how uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) could be used to provide persistent maritime domain awareness (MDA) at sea. Six saildrones were stationed in an operating area adjacent to Penguin Bank, west of Molokai, Hawaii.

The exercise highlighted specific real-world use cases for persistent MDA: general traffic monitoring, illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing, search and patrol, and port security.

Traffic Monitoring

General traffic monitoring, with the USVs demonstrating various picket line formations, a range of detection types, and how detections are visualized. 

Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (IUU) fishing

Detection and tracking of vessels performing behaviors associated with IUU fishing, such as longline fishing at the edge of a restricted zone and turning off their automatic identification system (AIS), or going dark, while entering protected areas.

Search and Patrol

Search and patrol maneuvers demonstrating how the effective coverage area of fleets can be extended and the ability to find a dead-in-the-water target of interest.

Port Security

Port monitoring and surveillance showing how the USVs can augment existing surveillance systems and detect suspicious behavior near critical infrastructure.

Explore Using Saildrones for Maritime Domain Awareness

Interested in exploring how autonomous technologies can help you achieve your MDA/ISR objectives to sense, decide, and act more quickly and effectively? 

Tell us about your maritime security needs and get started planning your solution today.

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