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USV Saildrone Surveyor to explore remote waters in Alaska, USA

Date: 19 Aug 2022 Author: Chief Editor

On August 11, 2022, the Saildrone Surveyor departed Dutch Harbor in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, embarking on a multipartner project to better understand the ocean and seafloor in one of the most remote and understudied parts of the USA. NOAA Ocean Exploration and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) are the primary sponsors of this work.

🎯 The Aleutians Uncrewed Ocean Exploration expedition is a public-private partnership facilitated and led by the NOAA Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute . The goal of the expedition is to collect ocean mapping and environmental data in unexplored waters around the Aleutian Islands identified as high priority for NOAA, BOEM, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the broader federal Interagency Working Group on Ocean Exploration and Characterization. All work conducted will contribute to the Seascape Alaska regional mapping campaign.

Data will be collected by the USV Saildrone Surveyor , made by USA-based Saildrone Inc. Along with Saildrone , the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping and NOAA Ocean Exploration staff will manage at-sea operations.

The Surveyor is equipped with a suite of instruments to collect acoustic, oceanographic, and meteorological data to support a wide range of research applications. Piloted remotely from shore and powered primarily by wind and solar energy, the environmentally friendly Surveyor leverages the latest technologies. This addition to the fleet of deep-ocean exploration platforms should enable long-term missions at sea in some of the most remote corners of the ocean.

Beyond mapping, the Surveyor will also carry revolutionary technology from MBARI (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute) to sample environmental DNA. Also known as eDNA, this genetic material can reveal important clues about marine biodiversity and, ultimately, ocean health.

⚙ Specifications of USV Saildrone Surveyor:
LOA: 22 m
Wing: 18 m
Keel: 4 m
Speed: 10 kn
Endurance: 2 months.

📃📷 Source: NOAA Ocean Exploration