ASV Roboat: going for the 150 nautic miles record of unmanned sailing
Originally developed for the World Robotic Sailing Championship, the Austrian society for Innovative Computer Science (INNOC) tackles a distance record on the Baltic Sea in July with the ASV RoBoat. The team aims for 150 nautic miles and 100hrs of autonomous sailing.
This record will be set as part of a one week study mission on the migration routes of marine mammals using a microphone. As it is very quiet this observation can be done without disturbing them.
Based on the 3.75m Laerling sailboat, the Roboat is composed of sensors, solar panels and is completely autonomous. The solar panels provide up to 285W of power, it is also fitted with a 65W safety methanol fuel cell.
Communication is managed in three stages, WLAN, GPRS and UMTS.
Since 2008, the ASV roboat won the world robotic sailing championship (WRSC) each year.
For now the distance record for an autonomous sailboat is held by the LENTSA research team located in Brest, France with a distance of 78.9 nautical miles in March 2012, INNOC plans to almost double this figure.
The project manager, Roland Stelzer, describes the future of the technology as follows: “Because they are energy self-sufficient, in addition to marine biology, these solar energy powered robotic sailing boats can also be used for tsunami early warning systems, search operations, meteorological measurements and the recovery of oil spills”.