Autonomous Vehicle Crosses Atlantic Ocean

October 25, 2019

A 23-foot long unmanned surface vehicle — known as SD 1021 — has become the first autonomous vehicle to complete an east-to-west crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, according to Saildrone.

The journey did not include Bermuda, however the vehicle did stop by the island for maintenance at one stage.

SD 1021 leaving from Bermuda with a new wing. 

Autonomous Vehicle Crosses Atlantic Ocean Bermuda Oct 2019 (2)

“SD 1021 departed Lymington, UK, on August 15, 2019, to sail a direct route across the North Atlantic, completing the crossing on October 22, 2019, in Newport, Rhode Island. The 3402-nautical mile [6301.59-kilometer] crossing took 68 days,” the company said.

“SD 1021 originally started its Atlantic adventure from Newport in January 2019, on a science mission measuring heat and carbon in the Gulf Stream.

SD 1021’s mission track from Newport, RI, to the Gulf Stream [pink], Bermuda to the UK [green], and back across the North Atlantic to Newport, RI [red]

Autonomous Vehicle Crosses Atlantic Ocean Bermuda Oct 2019 (3)

“Stopping in Bermuda for maintenance, SD 1021 then sailed on, following the Gulf stream, to Europe, landing in the Solent on the south coast of England.

“After the return journey back to Newport, SD 1021 not only holds the record for the fastest unmanned Atlantic crossing but is the only unmanned surface technology to have completed a crossing in both directions.”

SD 1021 at the dock in Bermuda after a breaking wave damaged its wing with the BIOS boat that helped tow it in.

Autonomous Vehicle Crosses Atlantic Ocean Bermuda Oct 2019

“The endurance, reliability and scientific measurement capabilities of the Saildrone platform continue to grow from strength to strength,” said Richard Jenkins, Saildrone founder and CEO.

“During 2019, our saildrones have circumnavigated Antarctica, spent 700 days in the Arctic sampling the retreating ice edge, completed our first survey of the North Sea, and now crossed the hostile North Atlantic in both directions. There is no part of the unfrozen ocean that we cannot now measure.”

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  1. Real Deal says:

    this is the type of stuff we should be working on.