Jamestown Distributors, proud sponsors of Scout

 SCOUT TRANSATLANTIC @ 75 DAYS

Autonomous transatlantic solar powered robot boat project

Jamestown Distributors, proud sponsors of Scout

 

 

75th day update. Scout was meandering her way across the Atlantic at a leisurely pace that varies on her 2013 Atlantic debut - but has for the last few days been static (which we doubt) on the map, suggesting other instrument failure.  So where is she for real? She was describing dramatic 'S' shaped curves in the process on an eloborate drift, rather than powered motion. One could though argue that she is now being powered by the wind and as such is a Microtrasat competitor by default - even though disqualified for not transmitting her true position. It's though a curious matter as to how the ocean currents alone are painting such a picture.

 

MICROTRANSAT UPDATE OCT 2013

 

On the sail powered front, a stoic Robin Lovelock launched the Snoopy Sloop again in October 2013 with similar results to his previous launches - due to slippage on a steering control component the robotic sailor crashed on rocks near Yarmouth rather sooner than hoped for. We must though remember that Edison tried a thousand experiments before perfecting the incandescent filament light bulb. So, nice one Robin and keep at it.

 

 

 

8 NOVEMBER 2013 STATS

Time Elapsed: 76 DAYS: 05 HOURS: 44 MINUTES: 18 SECONDS
Distance from Rhode Island 1307.44 MI          Distance to Spain 2109 MI 
Distance traveled by Scout 2595.92               Velocity: 0.7 mph

CURRENT STATUS: N 43° 6’ 9.34” W 45° 38’ 58.67” Compass 0° Waypoint 0° CoG 104°

 

 

Blue Ribband Atlantic robotic boat crossing attempt 2013

 

6 NOVEMBER 2013 STATS

Time Elapsed: 74 DAYS: 04 HOURS: 41 MINUTES: 32 SECONDS
Distance from Rhode Island 1271.58 MI       Distance to Spain 2148 MI 

Distance traveled by Scout 5672.65 M         Velocity: 2.04 mph

CURRENT STATUS: N 42° 39’ 20” W 46° 24’ 14.93” Compass 0° Waypoint 0° CoG 12°

 

 

Transatlantic robotic boat in autonomous Atlantic crossing attempt

 

5 NOVEMBER 2013 STATS

Time Elapsed: DAYS: 03 HOURS: 10 MINUTES: 36 SECONDS
Distance from Rhode Island 1271.58 MI        Distance to Spain 2148 MI 

Distance traveled by Scout  5672.65 MI        Velocity: 2.04 mph

CURRENT STATUS: N 42° 39’ 20” W 46° 24’ 14.93” Compass 0° Waypoint 0° CoG 12°

 

 

Follow Scout gotransat live by clicking on this picture

 

4 NOVEMBER 2013 STATS

Time Elapsed: 72 DAYS: 02 HOURS: 42 MINUTES: 11 SECONDS
Distance from Rhode Island 1271.58 MI     Distance to Spain 2148 MI 
Distance traveled by Scout 5672.65           Velocity: 1.27 mph

CURRENT STATUS: N 42° 39’ 20” W 46° 24’ 14.93” Compass 0° Waypoint 0° CoG 12°73 

 

 

 

3 NOVEMBER 2013 STATS

Time Elapsed: 71 DAYS: 06 HOURS: 43 MINUTES: 26 SECONDS
Distance from Rhode Island 1271.58 MI       Distance to Spain 2148 MI 

Distance traveled by Scout 5672.65             Velocity: 2.04 mph

CURRENT STATUS:  N 42° 39’ 20” W 46° 24’ 14.93” Compass 0° Waypoint 0° CoG 12°

 

 

Track Scout Gotransat, Altantic autonomous attempt 2013

 

2 NOVEMBER 2013 STATS

Time Elapsed: 70 DAYS: 05 HOURS: 46 MINUTES: 29 SECONDS
Distance from Rhode Island 1344.11 MI       Distance to Spain 2090 MI 
Distance traveled by Scout 2377.07             Velocity: 2.17 mph

CURRENT STATUS: N 41° 26’ 32.65” W 45° 10’ 34.13” Compass 0° Waypoint 0° CoG 309°

 

 

Scout's atlantic ocean drift pattern

 

31 OCTOBER 2013 STATS

Time Elapsed: 68 DAYS: 07 HOURS: 34 MINUTES: 41 SECONDS
Distance from Rhode Island 1344.11 mi      Distance to Spain 2090 mi
Distance traveled by Scout 2377.07 mi       Velocity: 2.17 mph

 

CURRENT STATUS: N 41° 26’ 32.65” W 45° 10’ 34.13” Compass 0° Waypoint 0° CoG 309°

 

 

 

30 OCTOBER 2013 STATS

Time Elapsed: 67 DAYS: 00 HOURS: 54 MINUTES: 01 SECONDS
Distance from Rhode Island 1344.11 MI      Distance to Spain 2090 MI 
Distance traveled by Scout 2377.07            Velocity: 2.17 mph

CURRENT STATUS: N 41° 26’ 32.65” W 45° 10’ 34.13” Compass 0° Waypoint 0° CoG 309°

 

 

 

29 OCTOBER 2013 STATS

Time Elapsed: 66 DAYS: 06 HOURS: 54 MINUTES: 42 SECONDS
Distance from Rhode Island 1374.55 mi       Distance to Spain 2067 mi
Distance traveled by Scout 2336.25 mi        Velocity 1.09 mph

CURRENT STATUS: N 41° 0’ 35.61”
W 44° 40’ 43.37” Compass 0° Waypoint 0° CoG 334°

 

 

Robotic battleships will one day rule the oceans and ensure world peace

 

 

28 OCTOBER 2013 STATS

Time Elapsed: 65 DAYS: 06 HOURS: 43 MINUTES: 02 SECONDS
Distance from Rhode Island 1374.55 MI       Distance to Spain 2067 MI 
Distance traveled by Scout 2336.25            Velocity: 0.49 mph

CURRENT STATUS: N 41° 0’ 35.61” W 44° 40’ 43.37” Compass 0° Waypoint 0° CoG 334° 

 

 

October 27th 2013, Scout adrift on the Atlantic Ocean

 

27 OCTOBER 2013 STATS

Time Elapsed: 64 DAYS: 00 HOURS: 58 MINUTES: 37 SECONDS
Distance from Rhode Island 1385.83 mi      Distance to Spain 2057 mi
Distance traveled by Scout 2327.96 mi       Velocity: 1.09 mph

CURRENT STATUS: N 40° 54’ 6.83” W 44° 29’ 6.83” Compass 0° Waypoint 0° CoG 14°

 

 

Scout gotransat at 63 days - Atlantic Ocean robotic attempt

 

26 OCTOBER 2013 STATS

Time Elapsed: 63 DAYS: 02 HOURS: 15 MINUTES: 44 SECONDS
Distance from Rhode Island 1384.32 MI        Distance to Spain 2073 MI 
Distance traveled by Scout 2278.94             Velocity: 1.91 mph

CURRENT STATUS: N 0° 0’ 0” E 0° 0’ 0” Compass 0° Waypoint 0° CoG 35° (ignore)

 

 

25 OCTOBER 2013 STATS

Time Elapsed: 62 DAYS: 06 HOURS: 33 MINUTES: 50 SECONDS
Distance from Rhode Island 1378.86 mi       Distance to Spain 2101 mi
Distance traveled by Scout 2209.01 mi        Velocity: 1.11 mph

 

CURRENT STATUS: N 39° 17’ 50.05” W 45° 5’ 12.24” Compass 0° Waypoint 0° CoG 353°

 

 

 

24 OCTOBER 2013 STATS

Time Elapsed: 61 DAYS: 03 HOURS: 40 MINUTES: 25 SECONDS
Distance from Rhode Island 1378.86 MI      Distance to Spain 2101 MI 

Distance traveled by Scout 2209.01            Velocity: 1.25 mph

CURRENT STATUS: N 39° 17’ 50.05” W 45° 5’ 12.24” Compass 0° Waypoint 0° CoG 353°

 

 

Track Scout by clicking on this picture

 

Click on the image above to follow progress live

 

10 SEPTEMBER 2013 STATISTICS: 


Time Elapsed: 17 DAYS: 02 HOURS: 41 MINUTES: 48 SECONDS
Distance from Rhode Island 512.66 MI  
  Distance to Spain 2908 MI 

Distance traveled by Scout 765.72 M       Velocity 2.3 MI HR
CURRENT STATUS: N 42° 2’ 27.67” W 61° 17’ 16.66”  Compass 96° Waypoint 97° CoG 69°



 

 

 

 

CONCEPT - Scout is powered by solar panels. The idea is to get across the Atlantic autonomously. They are using much the same gps, tracking and computer equipment as the Microtransat teams seem to favour.

 

TELEMETRY - Telemetry information is relayed via Iridium 9612 every hour. Scout uses two Arduino micro computers; one to navigate and one to communicate via an Iridium transceiver. Dylan and Ryan worked on programming and electronics. We are not sure if Scout has a compass onboard. If not, that might help improve course keeping in between gps signaling delays. The base programming for Scout took 14 days with both engineers working for 15 hours a day while sipping a lot of energy drinks. 

 

 

 

 

SPECIFICATIONS - We are not sure what the exact mass of the vessel is (around 140lbs), nor the size of the solar panels, so can only guess on these, and as a mono-hull at around 13 x 2 feet, she is going to be bouncing around all over the place (riding up and down waves), making wave drag very high - in the process reducing average speed. The route is roughly 3,473 miles. The boat is doing a lot of course correction (searching) according to the tracking map. We do not know if this is because of directional instability in the hull design from wave encounters, or maybe the algorithm for the steering is not frequent enough to steer a true course - possibly due to power saving or computing speeds. Who knows? We doubt the latter.

 

Guessing about the panels from pictures, it looks like they have about 1.6 m2 of panel area, that should provide around 230watts @ 17% efficiency. Then at 140lbs, the power to weight ratio is 3.7kW/ton. That is three times the power to weight ratio of PlanetSolar, which manages 5 knots from its two canoe shaped hulls (shape presented to the sea) using a large battery to even out loads overnight, etc. We must then conclude that the motor/propeller setup on the Scout is far from ideal in converting electrical energy to thrust, and of course that long fin generates quite a bit of resistance from area alone.

 

The estimates for hull speed were between 2-4 mph. The average speed at time of writing is 1.75 miles per hour. If Scout can keep that up she will complete her mission in 83 days. A speed of 1.8 mph will reduce that to 80.4 days and 1.85 mph will take the journey down to 78 days. So, conservatively, were looking at a record crossing in the region of 80-90 days. PlanetSolar did a shorter route in 22 days in August 2013 with a more efficient hull/propulsion setup, but that boat is manned. Mind you, if PlanetSolar were to be fitted with robotic navigation equipment, it would trounce a small boat like Scout.

 

 

HERE AND NOW September 25 2013 - David Schneider

 

Each year thousands of yachtsmen cross the Atlantic Ocean, but only few of their voyages set records. One crossing taking place now just might do that. A group of young men from Rhode Island are attempting an autonomous transatlantic crossing with a solar-powered boat they built in their spare time. David Schneider, a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum magazine, was at the midnight launch of their robotic boat called “Scout.”

The best way I can think of to introduce this story is to read from what’s printed on the back of the boat in three languages. It says: “Hello I’m Scout, a fully autonomous boat attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean from Tiverton, Rhode Island, to Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain. I was built over the course of three years by a group of young optimists in a after a successful kick starter campaign. If you have found me, please contact our ragtag group of aspiring engineers.”

Two of the engineers are Dylan Rodriguez, a 21-year-old senior at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts and Max Kramers, a 26-year-old recent graduate from the University of Rhode Island.

“I have been building boats, have been sailing boats since I could pretty much walk,” says Kramers.

I met Max and Dylan in their garage workspace where they were doing a final prep on their robotic boat. Over the two-and-a-half years they’ve been at this project, they collected quite a few assistants and supporters who arrived in increasing numbers as the evening wore on. It was quite the party, only instead of dispensing wine or beer, they were passing around cups of epoxy resin and marine paint.

Rodriguez: “It started off as a joke, and here we are a couple thousand dollars later.”

Kramers: “Dylan and I were up late one night and throwing around ideas what we could do,” says Kramers.

Rodriguez: “At the beginning it was just max and I, and I did the electronics and the software, and max did the construction of the boat.”

Kramers: “We went with a carbon-fiber, foam-cored construction for the hull, which yields an incredibly light, and incredibly strong structure.”

Rodriguez: “And so when we needed more man hours to be logged every night, we’d bring in friends to either help with electronics or help with the physical construction of the boat.”

Another Scout team member, Dan Flanigan, a recent civil engineer graduate from Bucknell University describes the construction of the boat.

“So you’re looking at a 13-1/2 foot-long boat. It’s a foot and a half high, it looks a bit like and aircraft carrier, and covered with solar panels on the top,” Flanigan says

Rodriguez interjects: ”And those solar panels charge a battery, and the battery runs a trolling motor. So scout, ideally, is able to run 24 hours a day, charging the batteries during the day, discharging the batteries at night,” he says. ”We did do a lot of in-the-water testing, most notably at the fried seafood place down the street.”

Arriving at the beach at midnight, Dylan has to explain to a police officer that his crew is there, not to drink beer, but to launch a robotic boat across the Atlantic. What helps is the presence of many adult supporters, including Tim Flanigan, Dan’s father.

“Our primary job is to feed them dinner and keep them stoked up with carbs,” says the elder Flanigan

The adults also proved useful when it came time to haul the 13-foot-long boat a half-mile or so to the launch point.

The unusual goings-on drew the attention of some late-night partiers. One curious onlooker was told he was witnessing a robot boat being sent off to Spain. He looked baffled.

The attempt made by this group is one to be world record breaking.

“The record is for autonomous surface vessel. The furthest that anyone has gone was an autonomous sailboat that went 61 miles,” says Kramers.

Scout has since beaten that record, having now navigated itself more than 800 miles east of Rhode Island.

If the little boat completes the rest of its planned 3700-mile journey, it will land on the shores of Sanluccar del Barrameda, Spain, a spot with a bit of history. This is the spot it’s where Christopher Columbus left from on his third voyage to the new world.

 


TRANSCRIPT

ROBIN YOUNG, HOST:

And right now a robotic boat named Scout is about 1,000 miles off the coast of Rhode Island. Scout is a solar-powered vessel, the handiwork of a group of recent college grads. It's already in the record books. David Schneider, a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum magazine, as at Scout's midnight launch.

(APPLAUSE)

DAVID SCHNEIDER: The best way I can think of to introduce this story about the journey of Scout is just to read from what's printed on the back of the boat in Spanish, French and English. It says: Hello I'm Scout, a fully autonomous boat attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean from Tiverton, Rhode Island, to Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain.

I was built over the course of three years by a group of young optimists in a after a successful kick-starter campaign. If you have found me, please contact our ragtag group of aspiring engineers.

DYLAN RODRIGUEZ: My name's Dylan Rodriguez. I'm 21 years old, and I'm a senior at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts.

MAX KRAMERS: I'm Max Kramers. I'm 24 years old, and I just graduated from University of Rhode Island. I have been building boats, have been sailing boats since I could pretty much walk.

SCHNEIDER: I met Max and Dylan in their garage workshop where they were doing a final prep on their robotic boat. Over the years they've been at this project, they collected quite a few assistants and supporters who arrived in increasing numbers as the evening wore on. So it was a bit of a party, only instead of dispensing wine or beer, they were passing around cups of epoxy resin and marine paint.

KRAMERS: Well, it all sort of began here in the garage, where Dylan and I were up late one night and throwing around ideas, what we could do.

RODRIGUEZ: At the beginning it was just Max and I, and I did the electronics and the software, and Max did the construction of the boat.

KRAMERS: We went with a carbon-fiber, foam-cored construction for the hull, which yields an incredibly light, and incredibly strong structure.

RODRIGUEZ: When we needed more man hours to be logged every night, we'd bring in friends.

DAN FLANIGAN: My name is Dan Flanigan. I'm one of the Scout team members. So you're looking at a thirteen-and-a-half-foot-long boat. It's a foot-and-a-half high, and it looks a bit like and aircraft carrier covered with solar panels on the top.

RODRIGUEZ: And those solar panels charge a battery, and the battery runs a trolling motor. So Scout, ideally, is able to run 24 hours a day, charging the batteries during the day, discharging the batteries at night. We did do a lot of in-the-water testing, most notably at the fried seafood place down the street.

KRAMERS: Hey Dylan, we got a voltage point out there at 14-1.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I think this is where they want to send it off from.

SCHNEIDER: Arriving at the beach at midnight, Dylan has to explain to a police officer that his crew is there not to drink beer but to launch a robotic boat across the Atlantic. What helps is the presence of many adult supporters, including Tim Flanigan.

TIM FLANIGAN: Our primary job is to feed them dinner and keep them stoked up with carbs.

SCHNEIDER: The adults also proved useful when it came time to haul the 13-foot-long boat a half-mile or so to the launch point.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: May the lord who created all of the Earth look after this boat as it sails across the ocean in record time with the banner of Scout on it.

(APPLAUSE)

SCHNEIDER: The unusual goings-on drew the attention of some late-night partiers. One curious onlooker was told he was witnessing a robotic boat being sent off to Spain.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It's going to take about two months, three months maybe, but it shouldn't stop between here and there. It's solar-powered. You look baffled.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is actually a world record attempt.

KRAMERS: Well, the record now is for autonomous surface vessels, which there have been several attempts. The furthest that anyone has gone, was an autonomous sailboat that went 61 miles.

SCHNEIDER: Scout has since beaten that record, having now navigated itself almost 1,000 miles east of Rhode Island. If the little boat completes the rest of its planned 3,700-mile journey, it will land on the shores of Sanluccar del Barrameda, Spain, a spot with a bit of history. It's where Christopher Columbus left from on his third voyage to the new world. For HERE AND NOW, I'm David Schneider.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And we have a data point. Let me verify the map real quick.

YOUNG: David Schneider, senior editor at IEEE Spectrum magazine. You can go to www.hereandnow.org to see pictures of Scout and track the robot boat's progress across the ocean, very cool.
Transcript by NPR.

 

 

Scout in the Atlantic storms, Blue Riband robot crossing attempt 2013

 


SOLAR BOAT HISTORY

 

In May of 2012, the PlanetSolar completed the first solar powered circumnavigation. At about that time a world autonomous navigation was proposed by the SolarNavigator team, also using a solar powered platform. Then in August 2013 PlanetSolar set the fastest solar record across the Atlantic, at 22 days. These events are not for a robotic boat.

 

Make sure to visit the Scout website at www.GoTransat.com

 

 

FAMOUS ATLANTIC CROSSINGS BY BALLOON

 

 

 

   

 

DOUBLE EAGLE II - Double Eagle II, piloted by Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson, and Larry Newman, became the first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean, landing 17 August 1978 in Miserey near Paris, 137 hours 6 minutes after leaving Presque Isle, Maine. The attempt was successful at the point that the balloon crossed the Irish coast, on the evening of 16 August 1978, as notified to the crew by Shannon Airport. 

 

CHRYSLER TRANSATLANTIC RACE 1992 - Taking off from Bass Park the September 15 1992, five teams of balloonists set out that clear summer night on a race across the Atlantic, an event conceived in 1982 by Don Cameron and Alan Noble (UK). The Belgian team won two days later when they reached Portugal at 3:48 a.m. - 2,580 miles from Bangor and 114 hours, 27 minutes after launching. They finally landed at Peque, Spain.

 

Breitling Orbiter 3, world record balloon circumnavigation

 

BREITLING ORBITER 3 - It wasn't until 1981 that the first attempt was made to try and fly around the world in a hot air balloon. 9 years later it had become a race and even the World Air Sports Federation had laid down rules. Before Bertrand and Jones there were a number of others who tried, but never managed to complete the challenge. Among them were: Max Anderson (Jules Verne), Larry Newman (Earthwind), Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand (Virgin Global Challenger), Bertrand Piccard (Breitling Orbiter), Steve Fossett (Solo Spirit) and Andy Elson (Cable and Wireless). It was became the most sought after title in the ballooning world. The BO3 took off from Chateaux D'Oex in the Swiss Alps on 1st March 1999. On 20th March 1999, the Breitling Orbiter 3 crossed the last meridian and landed in Mauritania, North Africa the next day, becoming the first hot air balloon to circumnavigate the earth covering a ground breaking distance of 42,810 KM.

 

JONATHAN TRAPPE 2013 - The American aviator from Caribou, Maine, began the first attempt to cross the Atlantic suspended by 370 helium balloons. Jonathan Trappe took off from Caribou, Maine, on Thursday morning as his capsule was lifted by 370 helium-filled balloons in heavy fog and he headed east from the US.

 

 

 

 

Scout Video

 

 

LINKS

 

http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/diy/robotic-boat-hits-1000-mile-makr-in-transatlantic-crossing

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/09/25/solar-boat-atlantic

http://www.orbiterballoon.com/home.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-Handed_Trans-Atlantic_Race

https://twitter.com/ScoutTRANSAT

https://www.facebook.com/ScoutTransatlantic

http://www.wpri.com/on-air/green-team/ri-students-design-solar-powered-boat

http://www.solarracing.org/2013/06/10/autonomous-solar-powered-boat-to-cross-the-atlantic/

http://letsmakerobots.com/node/38270

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/601285608/scout-the-autonomous-transatlantic-boat

http://www.kickstarter.com/help/school#defining_your_project

http://www.kickstarter.com/start?ref=footer

http://www.gotransat.com/

http://www.gotransat.com/tracking/

http://makezine.com/magazine/transatlantic-drone-takes-to-the-sea/

http://www.behance.net/gallery/SCOUT-Transatlantic/10153015
www.marinetraffic.com - busy shipping lanes
UK Winds , Sailflow Winds , Met Office Rain & Wind

World Sea conditions, Temperatures & Sunshine
windfinder.com or magicseaweed.com for expected wave heights

http://www.python.org/

Scout on Facebook

http://www.yellowbrick-tracking.com/

http://international.findmespot.com/

http://www.amsat.org/

Here and Now September 25 2013

 

 

 

 

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