A fleet of wind and solar-powered autonomous vehicles was unveiled on Friday March 23, 2018, in Hobart before setting off on a mission to capture valuable ocean data.
Known as Saildrones, the high-tech, unmanned vehicles will be at sea for up to twelve months and are an element of a commonwealth and industry funded research portfolio.
Their mission is to measure and monitor sea-surface temperature, salinity, ocean carbon, and biota - helping to paint a more detailed picture of the ocean off the Gippsland coast in Victoria.
The research will see the Saildrones deployed as part of research to test and validate technologies used for future carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.
A team of technicians has spent the last week preparing the Saildrones for their maiden voyage in Australian waters.
They will depart from Hobart before Easter.
"Our partnership with Saildrone and the Australian Government builds on our investment in marine research infrastructure for the nation and supports CSIRO's strategy for cutting-edge research which facilitates the monitoring and mitigation of climate change," CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said.
"Industry partnerships are critical to innovation and are at the heart of our mission as Australia's national science agency.
Sensors on each saildrone will capture and send live data back to the research team to analyse.
"The fleet of Saildrones may be small in stature, but their ability to autonomously monitor and collect rich streams of data at sea for up to twelve months makes them truly unique in terms of the value they can deliver industry, the research community and ultimately our biggest customer – the nation."
Saildrones are remotely controlled and their systems can be accessed from anywhere in the world using an iPhone.
This means they can be reprogrammed to collect different types of data quickly instead of coming back to shore to change over equipment or sensors.
Saildrone founder and CEO Richard Jenkins said CSIRO provided a unique opportunity for marine research collaboration in the Southern Hemisphere.
"Saildrone and CSIRO share the same passion for innovation and engineering to help solve some of the most challenging problems facing the world," Mr Jenkins said.
CSIRO has equipped each Saildrone with a powerhouse of ocean chemistry, meteorological and marine acoustic sensors.
These sensors will capture and send live data back to the research team to analyse.
"We have never had an opportunity like this before," CSIRO scientist Dr Bronte Tilbrook said.
"By combining advanced sea faring sensing technology, we will be able to capture more data over longer period of time and provide credible information back to government, industry and the community."
The array of sensors also allows us to deploy Saildrones for unique and complex tasks.
Whilst two Saildrones will collect data in the Gippsland Basin that will inform methods for monitoring future CCS sites, the vehicles can also be deployed to future studies in hard to reach places, like the Southern Ocean, where unprecedented climate and ocean data can be collected.
Saildrones have been acquired through funding provided by the CO2CRC and the Australian Government's Education Investment Fund Support for Clean Energy Research Infrastructure.
BMT Delivers Study for Royal Australian
Hunter TAFE and Australian Defence Suppl
Secretary Jewell Announces Milestone for
Coral Reefs in Palau Surprisingly Resist
Subsea 7 S.A. Takes Action to Facilitate
Ocean Installer Enters the Australian O&
Australian Army purchases VSTEP maritime
MacArtney scales up Australian underwate
Dead Zones’ Found in Atlantic Open Water
FloWave and Rockland Scientific Join For
FloWave and Rockland Scientific Join For
ION Launches MexicoSPAN in Mexico’s Offs
Schlumberger Launches Industry-First Mul
Blue Whale Photographed in English Water
West Australian Corals Shed Light on Cau
Exploring Rugged Hills & Turbulent Water
NOAA Releases Expansion Proposal for Mon
CMRE and NOAA Join Forces to Monitor Atl
Australia: Plans for a State-of-the-Art
Exeter Researchers Launch New Robotic Ma
IMC LARS Supports Royal Australian Navy’
New ROV Tests the Waters at MBARI
AUV Mullaya Arrives at Australian Mariti
‘Hidden Larder’ for Sharks and Whales Re
Australian Company Joins Marine Robotics
Royal Australian Navy to Upgrade Paluma
BSEE Approves Updated Permit for Explora
Final Regulations to Raise Safety & Envi
BP Decides Not to Proceed with Great Aus
New Milestone in Australian Tidal Energy
Rapp Marine Group Signs Contract for New
Royal Australian Navy Launches Destroyer
Royal Australian Navy Develops Tactical
Damen Reports Successful Sea Trials for
Damen Consolidates Commitment to Austral
Austal, ASC Join to Support Australian S
Statoil Announces Revises Plans for the
Australian Navy MATV Arrives in Home Por
Commercialisation of Australian Marine E
Subsea UK Events to Explore Opportunitie
Raytheon to Deliver Anti-Air Warfare Tec
New Underwater Vehicles to Study Microbi
Marine Organisms to Help Monitor Strateg
Waterproof Sunlight Readable LCD Monitor
PALS Turns to Marine Organisms to Help M