Solar and Wind-Powered Saildrone Sets Sail to Map the Ocean Floor
A Bay Area startup that builds autonomous ocean data collecting vessels launches its largest ship this week
ALAMEDA, CALIFORNIA — A Bay Area startup that builds autonomous ocean data collecting vessels launches its largest ship this week, the Saildrone Surveyor.
The Surveyor is powered by wind and solar energy and is designed to map the ocean floor while collecting DNA samples and climate data. The Surveyor is designed to spend up to 12 months at sea, according to Saildrone.
Only 19 percent of the world's seabed has been mapped to modern standards, according to UNESCO.
The UN agency says a more complete map would help with ocean conservation efforts and facilitate a better understanding of weather systems, sea level rise and climate change.
Wired reports the Surveyor will sail from San Francisco to Hawaii after initial sea trials.
En route it will map regions near a series seamounts where fish and other marine animals congregate.
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