Christian Meinig | Director, Engineering Development
NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, WA
The Saildrone is a solar and wind powered ocean unmanned surface vehicle (USV) developed by Saildrone, Inc. in partnership with the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL). This platform is approximately twice as fast as similar USVs, carries a large payload capacity (~200 pounds), and is equipped with four high-throughput solar panels. The speed, size, and power capacity of the Saildrones extend the operational potential of USVs to cover large areas, safely access remote regions, and operate over long periods of time. Endurance USV deployments are a critical new NOAA mission capability and sensor development and results will be presented from the 5 vehicles deployed by PMEL in 2017 from the arctic to the tropics.