An unmanned surface vehicle (USV) which is known as SD 1021 that is seven meter long has completed an east-to-west crossing of the Atlantic Ocean and has thus, become the first autonomous vehicle to do so.
On the 15th of August 2019 the SD 1021 departed from Lymington, UK and covered a distance of 3402 nautical miles, thereby, completing the crossing across the North Atlantic on 22nd October 2019.
The Atlantic adventure of SD 1021 initially started from Newport in January 2019. It was on a science mission to measure the heat and carbon in the Gulf Stream.
It stopped in Bermuda for maintenance and then sailed further through the Gulf Stream and reached Europe where it landed in the Solent on the south coast of England. By making a return journey to Newport, SD 1021 has only made the record of being the fastest unmanned vehicle to cross the Atlantic but has also set the record of being the first unmanned surface technology to complete a cross in both the directions.
“The endurance, reliability and scientific measurement capabilities of the Saildrone platform continue to grow from strength to strength,” said Richard Jenkins, Saildrone founder and CEO. “During 2019, our saildrones have circumnavigated Antarctica, spent 700 days in the Arctic sampling the retreating ice edge, completed our first survey of the North Sea, and now crossed the hostile North Atlantic in both directions. There is no part of the unfrozen ocean that we cannot now measure.”