After trying and failing last year, Norway's Offshore Sensing has now succeeded in sailing an unmanned vessel across the Atlantic. The Sailbuoy Met was deployed from Newfoundland by the Marine Institute on June 7, 2018 and reached the coast of Ireland on August 26, a distance of 3,000 km (1,685 miles).
Last year, the company's Sailbuoy Wave traveled some 4,500 km (about 2,800 miles) over 2 months before being picked up by a fishing boat roughly half way across the North Atlantic. Examination of the craft when it was returned to home base showed that a loose screw had caused a short circuit in the autopilot system, preventing it from completing its mission. But, if at first you don't succeed...
The Sailbuoy has been designed as an offshore sensor platform that can be instructed where to go via satellite, with real-time tracking and data collection undertaken using the same Iridium satellite system. Applications include water quality surveys, oil spill detection, wave measurement and collection of meteorological and oceanographic data. It uses the wind to sail along, with the solar panels up top used to power onboard electronics via a battery pack.
Offshore Sensing reports that wind conditions varied from dead calm to strong gale during the epic voyage of the third generation Sailbuoy. But nothing could prevent the unmanned craft from reaching its target, logging some 5,100 kilometers along the way and becoming the first unmanned surface vessel to successfully cross the North Atlantic and the first to complete the Microtransat Challenge.
Source: Offshore Sensing
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