Piloting training with the Sailbuoy ASV
Eleanor and Ilona went to Bergen, Norway to learn to pilot an autonomous surface vehicle, the Sailbuoy. This will be used in the TERIFIC project to measure surface ocean properties (salinity and temperature) and meteorological variables (wind speed and direction, air temperature and pressure). These data will help us quantify the air-sea fluxes during winter in the subpolar gyre.
The vehicle was designed to have low power and data requirements; the navigation controls can last 4-5 months on the initial charged battery. Propulsion is from the wind so the ASV sails, with direction determined by the rudder (the sail swings passively across the boat). Data power requirements are user defined, but supplied by two of the three 10W solar panels.