What Is a Saildrone?

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.

Capable. Proven. Trusted.

Saildrone uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) are the most capable, proven, and trusted platforms available for the collection of high-quality ocean data for a wide variety of applications.

Saildrone USVs combine wind-powered propulsion technology and solar-powered meteorological and oceanographic sensors to perform autonomous long-range data collection missions in the harshest ocean environments.

The maritime security variants of the vehicles also include an advanced acoustic and camera system that, combined with our proprietary onboard machine learning algorithm, fuses sensor data to deliver significantly expanded information and decision advantage 24/7.

Saildrone provides a fully managed service from start to finish: We handle the transport of the USVs to the area of operations, launch and retrieve the USVs, and deliver high-resolution data in real time and raw data post mission.

Vehicle Features

Wind propulsion

Saildrone’s patented propulsion system is the result of a 10-year research effort in high-performance landsailing and consists of a tall, hard wing, a longitudinal spar, and a vertical tail; a trim-tab on the tail adjusts the wing angle to the wind, similar to the way an elevator trim tab controls the pitch of an aircraft

Long endurance

The Saildrone wing technology enables a mission duration of up to 12 months, without the need to return to land for maintenance or refueling; an annual maintenance guarantees optimal data quality

Speed

Saildrone USVs travel at an average speed between two to six knots under wind power and can reach most ocean locations within 30 days from the closest shore and cover large survey areas

Autonomy

Saildrone USVs are under the constant supervision of a human pilot via satellite and navigate autonomously from prescribed waypoint to waypoint, accounting for wind and currents, while staying within a user-defined safety corridor

Safety at sea

To further ensure safe operation, each USV is equipped with an automatic identification system (AIS) transceiver, navigation lights, radar reflector, high-visibility wing colors, and four onboard cameras; safety is a top priority, and Saildrone is proud of its strong track record of safe operations

Saildrone Explorer

Specifications

  • 23 feet (7 m) long
  • Solar & wind powered
  • Wind propulsion 3 knots avg.
  • >365 days endurance
  • Cameras, ML
  • Atmospheric and oceanographic array
  • white
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Saildrone Voyager

Specifications

  • 33 feet (10 m) long
  • Diesel/electric
  • Wind propulsion 4 knots avg.
  • 5 knots cruise speed
  • 8 knots sprint speed
  • >180 days endurance
  • Radar, cameras, ML
  • 150 m profiling winch
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Saildrone Surveyor

Specifications

  • 72 feet (22 m) long
  • Diesel/electric
  • Wind propulsion 5 knots avg.
  • 6 knots cruise speed
  • 10 knots sprint speed
  • >180 days endurance
  • Radar, cameras, ML
  • 500 m profiling winch
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