Aker BioMarine unveils unmanned solar-powered data collection drone

January 31, 2020

Aker BioMarine has announced that it will be launching an unmanned solar-powered ocean data drone called Sailbuoy, in an effort to collect detailed data on the krill biomass. 

Aker BioMarine (Oslo, Norway) has announced that it will be launching an unmanned solar-powered ocean data drone called Sailbuoy, in an effort to collect detailed data on the krill biomass. The two-meter long drone is equipped with echosounder and environmental sensors, and processes and transmits density and distribution data from where it is deployed, in real time. Easy to operate, launch, and recover, the drone uses wind for propulsion while the electronics are powered by solar panels that charge the internal batteries.

The advantage of using Sailbuoy is that it minimizes the need for fishing vessels to spend time and resources looking for krill, reducing financial and environmental costs. All data collection carried out by the drone has zero carbon footprint. “Finally deployed, after a number of years in development, the Sailbuoy is changing how we work,” said Frank Grebstad, senior vice president of vessel operations, in a press release. “We can position it close to the vessel and it will do the searching for us, or we can let it cover remote areas for up to months at a time, telling us where and when to proceed.”

“Albeit small, the Sailbuoy is designed to make a major impact when it comes to improving efficiency and helping the companies make better decisions based on real-time data,” said David Peddie, CEO of Offshore Sensing, the company that build the drone. “This Sailbuoy will help Aker BioMarine enter a new data-driven era of sustainable fishery.”