Saildrone — the latest in autonomous technology
From El Nino to ice movement in the Arctic, deep complexities in the ocean have long perplexed researchers. Limited not only by the spatial and temporal resolution of available data, but also by the vastness of the ocean itself, we have only scraped the surface of potential information to be gathered from beyond the horizon. One of my friends once put it to me this way, “the amount that we know about the ocean is similar to if we had been exploring North America, only at night, with a flashlight,” and he was probably right. The amount that we know about the ocean pales in comparison to what we don’t know.
Enter Saildrone - an autonomous unmanned surface vehicle or USV, designed to deploy in harsh environments and collect high resolution forecast measurements. Past technology mainly relied on buoys that were expensive to install and maintain. Buoys are also stationary, living out their life tied to one location while serving data to inform forecasts. Saildrone creates a new opportunity with a small fleet of boats that collect data in areas of particular interest for weather forecasts. Think of the NOAA hurricane hunters airplane, but on the surface of the ocean. Saildrone can head into brutal conditions and improve our ability to predict weather events.
Originally Posted on: Artificial Intelligence on Medium
February 7th 2020
Tommy Brown February 7th 2020