CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) is an Australian research group and plans to use aquatic drones to explore the Southern Ocean. A partnership with San Francisco-based Saildrone has been announced by the government agency.
The agency will be using three of Saildrone’s unmanned vehicles for the next five years. These Saildrones are propelled by the wind and the electronic components work on solar energy. These characteristics allow them to remain at sea for almost one year at a time and uploading data along the way.
The Saildrones will be based out of the city of Hobart and are equipped with both automatic identification systems and ship avoidance systems. This means they have the ability to operate autonomously as well as via remote control through a satellite from anywhere across the world.
“Saildrones are long-range research platforms that can be sent to remote locations for an extended period of time, delivering real-time data back to scientists that was previously impossible to collect,” says CSIRO Research Group Leader, Andreas Marouchos.
Along with their existing marine and atmospheric sensors, they will also be equipped with sensors designed to measure ocean carbon, and to provide biomass estimates in the water column. Who knows what these unprecedented discoveries might unveil for the future. We can only sit back and wait to find out.