Successful testing of a new unmanned energy-harvesting sailing vessel

USA: The John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) has developed an autonomous sailing vessel that can harvest energy.

The vessel, used for tactical ocean surveillance, is part of the Persistant Ocean Surveillance Program of the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Named the ‘Station-Keeping Buoy’, the vessel is capable of extracting wind, water turbine and solar energy from the local environment for long-term station keeping. The prototype testing of the ‘SKB’ was conducted on local rivers and in near-shore ocean environments. The systems and functionalities, which incorporated Iridium communications, solar energy harvesting, a wind-dumping sailing rig and an acoustic data processing and tone detection system all worked successfully, and the battery voltage was shown to increase over five hours, proving that it had successfully harvested solar energy.

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