Autonomous ocean monitoring boat

Posted on 14 Apr 2018 and read 875 times
Autonomous ocean monitoring boat A new company that began its life in Harwell at the European Space Agency’s Business Incubation Centre has developed an autonomous boat that is propelled by the waves and carries ocean sensors (powered by solar energy) to improve our understanding of the seas and their environment, including marine life, sea temperatures, pollution and weather.

Able to collect data for long periods at little cost, the AutoNaut start-up’s vessel ( is propelled by a wave foil that takes energy from the natural pitching and rolling movements at sea; it will move along at 2-5.5kph under most sea conditions.

It is so quiet that it can measure the whistles and clicks of dolphins over large areas.

It can receive its instructions from anywhere in the world by satellite, with the data from its solar-powered sensors processed onboard and the results sent back to the operators via satellite.

AutoNaut’s Phil Jones saud: “If a satellite radar picks up a suspected oil spill, our AutoNaut can verify it on the spot, map its extent by taking water measurements and relay the results back to shore.”

The team recently completed its two-year ‘incubation’ period at the ESA centre. They used specialised systems to refine their navigation and control capabilities, and to deliver near-real-time data collected by the sensors.

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