Ocean Data

Saildrone’s global fleet of autonomous vehicles provides cost-effective solutions for in situ ocean and climate data collection in the most remote regions of the ocean and in the harshest conditions.

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

Missions

Fisheries
Collect acoustic backscatter for fish stock abundance and sustainable fisheries management; track marine mammals and crustaceans for ecosystem monitoring and behavior characterization.
Metocean Data Collection
Atmospheric measurements, sea surface temperature, and air-sea fluxes for improved climate models and weather predictions.
Ecosystem Monitoring
Measuring acoustic backscatter, carbon absorption, salinity, and chlorophyll for biological and chemical oceanography.
Satellite Caibration/Validation
Providing in situ data for satellite calibration and validation studies and algorithm development.
Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vehicle equipped for maritime domain awareness missions in Hawaii.

Critical Data for Understanding Climate Change

Climate change is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. Obtaining the data needed to understand these changes is the first step to addressing the world’s climate challenges.

Saildrone uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) are equipped with a payload of sensors to collect measurements at the air-sea interface. These measurements are necessary to address research on air-sea exchanges of heat and carbon dioxide, ocean dynamics, and populations of fish and marine mammals. Saildrone follows guidelines for collecting these “essential ocean and climate variables” produced by the Global Ocean Observing System and the Global Climate Observing System.

Suite of 12+ Sensors

The standard Saildrone sensor suite measures more than a dozen variables above and below the sea surface, including temperature (air and sea), humidity, pressure, radiation, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll-a, and salinity, as well as wind speed and direction and wave height and period.

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
Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vehicle equipped for maritime domain awareness missions in Hawaii.

A Tool For Science

Whether you command your own mission, or leverage our existing ocean data, the Saildrone platform is a scientific tool that gathers interoperable data of the highest quality, fit for purpose, with a clear, robust and secure data chain of custody, from sensor calibration to raw observations, processing, and final distribution.

Data Quality

Saildrone’s fleet of USVs has traveled over 500,000 nautical miles, carrying payloads of sophisticated science-grade instruments, sensors, and cameras. Resulting in a unique series of large-scale data sets describing parts of the world’s oceans that have never been covered in such detail.

Saildrone data meets or exceeds the standards required by the appropriate regulatory bodies:

  • Global Ocean Observing System and the Global Climate Observing System
  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
  • International HydrographicOrganization (IHO)
  • NetCDF files with metadata following CF conventions

Science Publications

Saildrone data has been used in numerous science publications. You can review some of them at the link below.

Read Publications

Saildrone Vehicles

Saildrone Explorer – 23-foot (7m) Uncrewed Surface Vehicle

The 23-foot (7 m) Saildrone Explorer is designed to carry a payload of sensors to collect data above and below the sea surface. A 15-foot (5 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

  • 23-foot long (7 m)
  • Wind and solar powered
  • Wind propulsion 3 knots avg.
  • >365 days endurance
  • 360º cameras, ML
  • Atmospheric and oceanographic array
  • AIS transceiver
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Ocean Data to Meet Your Mission Needs

Saildrones can also be equipped with an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) to measure ocean current vectors at multiple depths, an ASVCO2 sensor to measure the partial pressure of carbon dioxide, or an echo sounder for animal tracking and fisheries surveys.

Sample Mission Sets

Fisheries

Collect acoustic backscatter for fish stock abundance and sustainable fisheries management; track marine mammals and crustaceans for ecosystem monitoring and behavior characterization.

Alaska Red King Crab
Tracking seasonal movements of Alaska red king crab using a Saildrone USV equipped with an acoustic receiver.
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North Sea Fisheries
Surveying sandeel, saithe, and herring off the coast of Bergen in partnership with Norway’s Institute of Marine Research.
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West Coast Survey
A 100-day mission from Vancouver Island to San Diego to assess fish stocks, count marine mammals, and test how uncrewed surface vehicles can augment ship-based sampling.
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West Coast Survey
A 60-day effort to assess stocks of Pacific hake and five coastal pelagic species carried out in two sub-missions extending the full length of the US west coast.
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US Arctic Survey
Tracking melting ice, measuring CO2, and counting fish, seals, and whales to better understand behavior and population in the Bering and Chukchi Seas.
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Arctic MISST
Saildrone’s 5th annual Arctic mission was a joint effort between NOAA and NASA, as part of the NOPP Arctic MISST project.
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Alaska Pollock Survey
With ship-based surveys canceled due to COVID-19, NOAA Fisheries turned to Saildrone to collect data to support the sustainable management of America’s largest fishery.
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Metocean Data Collection

Atmospheric measurements, sea surface temperature, and air-sea fluxes for improved climate models and weather predictions.

US Arctic Survey
Tracking melting ice, measuring CO2, and counting fish, seals, and whales to better understand behavior and population in the Bering and Chukchi Seas.
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Arctic MISST
Saildrone’s 5th annual Arctic mission was a joint effort between NOAA and NASA, as part of the NOPP Arctic MISST project.
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Atlantic to Mediterranean
The first mission by an autonomous vehicle from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, collecting environmental and carbon data for climate science.
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Antarctic Circumnavigation
The world's first autonomous circumnavigation of Antarctica, enabling new key insights into ocean and climate processes.
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Ecosystem Monitoring

Measuring acoustic backscatter, carbon absorption, salinity, and chlorophyll for biological and chemical oceanography.

White Shark Café
A multidisciplinary mission to understand why white sharks regularly congregate in a seemingly inhospitable part of the ocean.
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Satellite calibration/validation

Providing in situ data for satellite calibration and validation studies and algorithm development.

Baja California
A 60-day cruise to study sea surface temperature and air-sea heat fluxes along dynamic frontal regions off the coast of California.
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TPOS
Three missions to test the Saildrone platform as part of the Tropical Pacific Observation System monitoring weather and climate in the Pacific Ocean.
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Arctic MISST
Saildrone’s 5th annual Arctic mission was a joint effort between NOAA and NASA, as part of the NOPP Arctic MISST project.
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ATOMIC / EUREC4A
A massive international effort using air, space, surface, and sub-surface platforms to improve climate models and weather prediction.
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