A Saildrone-built autonomous maritime vehicle mapped 6,400 square nautical miles of ocean floor during a 28-day proof of concept voyage from San Francisco to Honolulu.
The Surveyor unmanned surface platform traversed 2,250 nautical miles for its initial deep-ocean mapping mission, the company said Thursday.
A team of Saildrone, the University of New Hampshire and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute received a three-year grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in late 2019 to develop ocean exploration instruments for the wind-powered vehicle.
Surveyor employs a suite of sensors designed to perform underwater column interrogation and collects multibeam data for assessment by UNH researchers.
The California-based autonomous vehicle builder seeks to map the entirety of the planet’s oceans over the next decade using its 72-foot platform.
Richard Jenkins, Saildrone founder and CEO, said the company is aiming to bring the technology to the shipbuilding market for defense and homeland security applications.