Saildrones are Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) designed for long range long duration ocean data collection missions of up to 12 months. Launched and retrieved from a dock, the Saildrone fleet navigates to a chosen study area using wind power for propulsion, transiting at 3-5 knots. Each drone then starts collecting high resolution data, either holding station or following a survey pattern as required by the specific mission objectives. Saildrone USVs operate around the world, in any ocean conditions. By augmenting expensive ship observations with a fleet of Saildrones, science-grade data can cost-effectively and autonomously be gathered over large ocean areas.
Saildrone handles all operational mission execution to deliver high quality, high resolution ocean data to your desktop or mobile. Found something interesting? The Saildrone USVs can be re-tasked, in real time to measure interesting features in greater detail. Welcome to adaptive sampling. We take care of all live operations, from launch & retrieval of the drones to piloting the fleet in busy waterways, so you can focus on the data, yet remain in control.
The Saildrone USV carries a comprehensive scientific sensor suite measuring key environmental variables, from atmospheric to surface and sub-surface. Measurements for each variable have been validated by NOAA through extensive comparison with ship and buoy measurements and recognized as climate-grade quality. In addition to our standard met/ocean sensor suite, Saildrone USVs can also carry a pCO2 sensor for carbon applications, an ADCP for current profiling and a specialized echo sounder for fish stock assessment and survey grade depth.
The in situ data collected by the Saildrone fleet is transmitted back to shore in real-time via satellite. This data is delivered to you seamlessly through a user-friendly web portal, which can be accessed on any computer or smart phone for live data manipulation and visualization. This includes real-time ADCP and echo sounder data. We deliver raw data from calibrated sensors, as well as quality controlled and processed data according to the latest scientific conventions and best practices. All of our data is also accessible via a modern API for seamless ingestion.
Every Saildrone Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) carries a comprehensive suite of science-grade instruments, each carefully selected in association with PMEL / NOAA. The sensors were chosen to cover a wide variety of missions, from physical oceanography to atmospheric science and geophysics needs. The Saildrone platform is very slender, and therefore does not displace or disturb fluids in the same way that ships and buoys can. This enables the platform to acquire very precise in-situ measurements, particularly useful for air / sea interaction and surface flux studies.
While most missions do not require all available sensors, it is possible to run all sensors simultaneously. Missions can last up to 12 months, with all data streamed in real time via satellite and accessible via Saildrone's API and web portal.
The oceans affect the fundamental processes that drive global weather systems, and ultimately climate. Understanding these processes is crucial, but getting reliable and affordable data from remote parts of the ocean has historically been tough. Saildrone changes that paradigm.VIEW SOLUTION >
In the face of ocean acidification and over-fishing, fisheries management is becoming ever more important. Combining our sensor suite with the most advanced echo sounder, Saildrone's unmanned surface vehicles can help manage sustainable fisheries for future generations.VIEW SOLUTION >
Operating for extended periods in high traffic areas, Saildrone's unmanned surface vehicles can monitor ecosystems' environmental health over large areas. Whether measuring nitrate run off from river systems or tracking oil spills, Saildrone can maintain a permanent presence, enabling immediate response.VIEW SOLUTION >
“A platform that is ready for ocean research missions from the tropics to the Arctic.”
"Saildrone is a game changer for safety because it gets our people out of harms way,
and gives us a much bigger data set so we can move people from gathering data
[to] the insights that come from that data"
"This work will have impact that reaches far beyond the Gulf
by elucidating how petroleum hydrocarbons are cycled in the oceans."
“Cross comparison between 2 Saildrones and R/V Oscar Dyson in Bering Sea.
Outstanding correlation found between Saildrone and ship calibrated measurements.”
“Even five years ago, we could not have imagined a vehicle with this capability and endurance.
I believe it will become a workhorse of our sustained Arctic observing system.”
" People will be flocking in and recognize there is more and more purpose for this particular platform.
So I think we’ve seen just the tip of the iceberg at this point."
Saildrone designs and manufactures wind and solar powered autonomous surface vehicles called Saildrones, which make cost-effective ocean data collection possible at scale. We are building the world's largest high resolution ocean datasets, working with governments and private companies around the globe. We believe that better inputs in planetary models in turn yield better outputs and that the new insights gained in weather forecasting, carbon cycling, global fishing and climate change will have tremendous impact on humanity.
Saildrone's patented wing technology was born from 10 years of R&D in pursuit of the land speed record.
The company is headquartered in Alameda, California and is backed by Horizons Ventures, Social Capital, Lux Capital, The Capricorn Investment Group, Exor Seeds and The Schmidt Family Foundation.
At Saildrone, we believe in using ocean data at scale to derive quantified, planetary insights that affect humanity. Our mission is to create the highest resolution ocean data set in the world and use it to make global processes such as weather forecasting, carbon cycling, global fishing and climate change more predictable, visible and actionable.
We strongly believe in proof through demonstration and we would rather let our results speak for themselves -- from our origins in harnessing wind power to break speed records, to the extreme endurance of our autonomous Saildrone USVs, or the NOAA-vetted quality of our data.
Above all, we are a team of passionate and fun-loving individuals, bringing expertise from multiple fields and sharing a culture of transformation through action. From designing hardware for extreme conditions to fearless software testing in the most remote parts of the world, we like to tackle challenges where few others dare to go, and look for 1000x impact wherever we can create it.
Understanding our oceans is the critical missing piece in quantifying our blue planet, so we are seeking curious minds to join our team and help improve the insights that can be derived from revolutionary ocean data.
Here are the job openings at the Saildrone HQ in sunny Alameda, a short ferry-ride from San Francisco.
$1Million worth of data collection
for your ocean research project
At Saildrone, we believe in revolutionary new approaches to ocean science. We will award 30 days of drone-powered data collection, free of charge (equivalent to $1,000,000 of research ship time), to the most impactful mission submitted to us during the year.
Click the button below to access the interactive Saildrone Mission Builder, where you'll be able to highlight the ocean area you are studying, select waypoints for data collection by Saildrone, and summarize the impact objectives of your research.
The deadline for the this year's mission submissions is Dec 31, 2018.
Thank you! Your message has been received.
Whether you have a complex Ocean Data requirement, want to explore a partnership,
or are interested in joining our team,
we would love to hear from you.
For any Saildrone Mission enquiry, please briefly describe your science objectives,
area of interest and timeframe.
1050 W Tower Ave
Alameda, CA 94501
We are a short ferry ride
from San Francisco.
Leave from the Ferry Building
and get off at Alameda Main Street
check the ferry schedule