Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that are engaged in different activities, and the time has now come to have drones in the oceans. Scientists are deploying saildrones or unmanned boats that will travel from the Arctic to the equator to collect data on a continuous basis on various aspects of climate change.

In the opinion of a section of scientists, climate change is responsible for the unpredictable patterns of the weather that is taking people unawares. The phenomenon must be arrested to save the world from the effects of extreme weather conditions.

Most of the countries have accepted this fact, and are working towards reducing Co2 Emission which is considered to be the single largest factor of global warming. Natural disasters like hurricanes and floods are becoming more frequent resulting in loss of lives, and assets while living beings are ousted from their natural habitats.

What is the saildrone?

CNN reports that the saildrones are created by a California-based company that resemble bright red surfboards. Each of them is fitted with a carbon fiber sail, and a number of sensors that are designed to record a range of variables that have a bearing on climate change. The parameters that will be recorded include extent of CO2 emission in the air, plus acidity, currents and water temperature.

These drones move at a slow speed, and are geared up to carry out work normally undertaken by manned research ships. According to the company, the operating cost of these drones is a fraction of the cost of a manned vessel. Moreover, these are playing an important role in combating the effects of climate change which is a matter of concern.

Work already undertaken

Saildrone COO Sebastien de Halleux says the company was founded in 2012, and it wants to deploy large number of saildrones to collect data on climate change on a real-time basis. This is one of the major areas of involvement. The emphasis is on reducing CO2 emission because that can reduce global warming.

The company has deployed vehicles for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In July, it dispatched a couple of these drones to the equator to study El Nino. Another set went to the Arctic Ocean tasked with tracking melting ice, and counting the marine animals. These are indicators of climate change, but a section of non-believers do not attach much importance to such evidence.

Incidentally, NASA and the U.S. Navy are other users who have discovered their usefulness. NASA uses them to calibrate satellites to measure salinity from space, and the U.S. Navy to detect submarines of drug smugglers.

Technology is on a fast track, and ocean drones have opened up a whole new world of opportunities. Boeing has joined the bandwagon with its version that does not rely on wind power but makes use of sea waves and solar power.