Tech UPTechnologyWhat are saildrones?

What are saildrones?

The sea covers 71% of the Earth’s surface, regulates the climate and constitutes an irreplaceable source of food and energy , as well as hosting an enormous biodiversity. However, our knowledge of it does not yet measure up to its importance.

For example, scientists are concerned about understanding the relationship between the ocean and climate change , and for this they need to collect data from many parts of the planet, a task assigned to large, expensive and highly polluting ships , or to the buoys and sensors that they they transport and spread to different places.

Things could change thanks to small and affordable unmanned sailboats that monitor the state of the waters and the weather anywhere in the world, a kind of marine drones that navigate in charge of a continuous collection of information.

The US company Saildrone collaborates with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), among other institutions, in the development of saildrones (5.80 meters in length and 2.13 in beam), powered by a sail made of carbon fiber and solar energy and capable of loading oceanographic sensors and transporting them at an average speed of 5 knots (9.2 km / h).

They are controlled online via satellite and have already proven their feasibility by successfully completing thousands of miles of voyages in which they have gathered information that contributes to the study of marine life, the maintenance of sustainable fishing reserves or the analysis of climatic phenomena such as El Niño. , among other things.

Image: Saildrone

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