SOLAR VOYAGER - AUTONOMOUS SOLAR POWERED BOAT
SOLAR VOYAGER - The autonomous boat on trial in Gloucester harbor, Masschusetts.
NEW ATLAS JUNE 8 2016
While we keep an eye on the journey of Solar Impulse 2, the
solar-powered plane that's currently in the middle of its record-setting, around-the-world flight, it looks like it has a buddy in the water. Solar Voyager, an
kayak, is currently making its way across the Atlantic Ocean.
SOLAR VOYAGER - Chris Sam Soon. The launch of Solar Voyager was generously supported by the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center in the beautiful and historic port of Gloucester Massachusetts. The Heritage Center provided dock space and crane support as well as a connection to the community of volunteer boat skippers, who generously volunteered their time in the support of Solar Voyager's sea trials. In particular we would like to thank the following individuals: Tom Balf, Steve Parks, Damon Cummings, Hilary Brown, Pat Baker, Phil Dunn, and the crew of the Schooner Adventure.
The robo-boat itself is 18 feet (5.5 m) long and 2.5 feet (0.76 m) wide, with a hull made of
aluminum. Due to that design, the boat tips the scales at around 550 lb (250 kg), which the project team acknowledge is a drawback in terms of drag and efficiency, but the trade-off was made for a sturdier, more stable vessel, with better resistance against mechanical shocks.
SEACHARGER SOLAR BOAT - Being launched from a ship at sea, this boat is very similar in concept to the Solar Voyager and the Scout attempt from 2013, but is aiming to travel across the Pacific to set a record for unmanned endurance boats.
If it's successful, Solar Voyager will be the first autonomous boat to cross the Atlantic, as well as the first to cross any ocean using solar power alone – a title it could claim from the Seacharger, which was recalled six hours into its trip from
Hawaii a couple of weeks ago.
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