Ocean Data

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

A Quantified Planet

Saildrone uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) are equipped with a payload of scientific sensors to collect in situ measurements. These essential ocean variables and essential climate variables are necessary to address air-sea exchanges of heat and gases, physical oceanography objectives, and fisheries and marine mammal surveys and research.

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.

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.

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.

Why Saildrone?

Cost-effective data collection in any ocean and in any weather conditions
Multipurpose vehicles meet a variety of research objectives at the same time
24/7 autonomous operations monitoring with real-time data transmission via satellite communications
Long-distance/long-term mission durations up to 365 days without returning to port for maintenance or refueling
Reduced fuel consumption and carbon footprint
Secure, encrypted data, vehicle to cloud

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.
Learn More
North Sea Fisheries
Surveying sandeel, saithe, and herring off the coast of Bergen in partnership with Norway’s Institute of Marine Research.
Learn More
West Coast Survey
A 100-day mission from Vancouver Island to San Diego to assess fish stocks, count marine mammals, and test how unmanned surface vehicles can augment ship-based sampling.
Learn More
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.
Learn More
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.
Learn More
Arctic MISST
The 5th annual Arctic mission took a fleet of saildrones to a new frontier—the Arctic ice edge—to improve sea ice prediction and satellite algorithm development.
Learn More
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.
Learn More

Metaocean Data Collection

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

West Coast Survey
A 100-day mission from Vancouver Island to San Diego to assess fish stocks, count marine mammals, and test how unmanned surface vehicles can augment ship-based sampling.
Learn More
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.
Learn More
TPOS
Three missions to test the Saildrone platform as part of the Tropical Pacific Observation System monitoring weather and climate in the Pacific Ocean.
Learn More
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.
Learn More
Arctic MISST
The 5th annual Arctic mission took a fleet of saildrones to a new frontier—the Arctic ice edge—to improve sea ice prediction and satellite algorithm development.
Learn More
Atlantic Crossing
The fastest Atlantic crossing by an autonomous vehicle, and the first vehicle to cross the Atlantic in both directions.
Learn More
ATOMIC / EUREC4A
A massive international effort using air, space, surface, and sub-surface platforms to improve climate models and weather prediction.
Learn More
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.
Learn More
Antarctic Circumnavigation
The world's first autonomous circumnavigation of Antarctica, enabling new key insights into ocean and climate processes.
Learn More

Ecosystem Monitoring

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

Alaska Red King Crab
Tracking seasonal movements of Alaska red king crab using a Saildrone USV equipped with an acoustic receiver.
Learn More
White Shark Café
A multidisciplinary mission to understand why white sharks regularly congregate in a seemingly inhospitable part of the ocean.
Learn More
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.
Learn More

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.
Learn More
TPOS
Three missions to test the Saildrone platform as part of the Tropical Pacific Observation System monitoring weather and climate in the Pacific Ocean.
Learn More
Arctic MISST
The 5th annual Arctic mission took a fleet of saildrones to a new frontier—the Arctic ice edge—to improve sea ice prediction and satellite algorithm development.
Learn More
ATOMIC / EUREC4A
A massive international effort using air, space, surface, and sub-surface platforms to improve climate models and weather prediction.
Learn More

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 – 7 m (22 ft) Uncrewed Surface Vehicle

The 7 m Saildrone Explorer is designed to carry a payload of sensors to collect data above and below the sea surface. A 5 m (16 ft) 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.