Search
Search ×

News Archive

Feature

Sailing drone captures dawn while crossing the Bering Strait

Unmanned vehicles set sail for voyage of data collection in the Arctic



In the early hours of August 1 bound for a voyage of data collection, one of two remotely operated unmanned sailing vehicles snapped this dreamy dawn photo as it sailed through the choppy Bering Strait. In the distance are the islands of Little Diomede in the United States and Big Diomede in Russia.

“They handled the tough conditions without a hitch,” said Jessica Cross, a NOAA scientist who is using the unmanned systems to study how the Arctic Ocean is absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Fifty-eight miles at its narrowest, the strait that separates Russia from Alaska is no easy passage, especially for a mere 22-foot long sailing drone. Not only do the straits present fast and rough currents, but such a small craft must avoid larger vessels and shoals. 

NOAA saildrones prepare for launching from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, July 2017
NOAA saildrones prepare for launching from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, July 2017 (Saildrone Inc.)

“This is a real game changer for NOAA’s ability to monitor the rapidly changing Arctic environment,” said Jeremy Mathis, director of NOAA’s Arctic Research Program, who watched the Bering Strait crossing from his smartphone in Washington, D.C. “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.”

For more information:

NOAA's drones at sea

Sail drone mission log

Print
0 Comments
Rate this article:
No rating

Categories: Arctic News, ResearchNumber of views: 23

Tags: ArcticClimate ResearchCarbon Dioxide

Name:
Email:
Subject:
Message:
x

Focus Areas

Arctic Report Card

Tracking recent environmental changes relative to historical records

More

Oceans

Conserving and managing our Arctic Ocean resources

Weather

Providing weather information to protect lives, property, and management

More

Satellites

Observing the Arctic ocean and atmosphere to understand and forecast Arctic change

More

Research

Providing environmental intelligence to understanding the complex Arctic system

More

Fisheries

Conserving and managing Arctic living marine resources and their habitats

More

ArcticProgram_edit

CONTACT US

Feel free to contact us and find out more about the Arctic Program

Copyright 2017 by Arctic Program Terms Of Use Privacy Statement
Back To Top