|Flight map of balloon campaign - click here for larger image.|
But I am very fascinated by the opportunities this new technology gives us. In theory, the SailBuoy can be equipped with a solar panel and a large battery and go for very long missions to remote and even dangerous regions with no human risk involved. The main challenge would be fouling on the sensors. The cost is extremely low compared to sending out a research vessel. A small Unmanned Seagoing Vehicle (USV), like the SailBuoy, will pose no danger to commercial shipping and yachts. Unfortunately, regulations are much more strict when it comes to flying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) because of potentially less peaceful applications. But we can still dream that one day the ocean and atmosphere can be monitored by a network of small devices providing real-time data to correct and improve our forecasts.
|Click here to see the SailBuoy's current location|
|Temperature along the SailBuoy track (deg C)|
|Salinity along the SailBuoy track (PSU)|
|Oxygen along the SailBuoy track (μM)|
|Dr. Lars Hole|