Scout, a nearly eight foot long carbon fiber boat, is slated to begin its transatlantic journey to Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain in the beginning of June. Designed and built by four friends, Scout has significant navigation capabilities as well as robust systems enabling it to travel on its journey completely autonomously.
The goal of this project is to send an autonomous boat across the Atlantic Ocean. If successful, it will be the first such craft to do so. The closest publicized attempt was that of the Pinta- a sailboat which traveled 400 miles on its journey before it stopped transmitting its position.
Scout’s hull is a foam core covered with carbon fiber. The electronics are, for the most part, assembled and working, the microcontrollers are programmed and ready to go. The power system has yet to be completed with the addition of solar panels and batteries. Care is being taken in designing and programming these systems as they will have to endure the roughest of conditions for weeks on end without human intervention.
The electronic systems on Scout are straightforward but advanced. The onboard batteries are capable of running all of Scout’s systems at full power for at least twenty five hours. Satellite tracking is provided by a SPOT tracker and powered by enough lithium batteries to transmit for a number of months. It'll be trackable on our website.
If the boat temporarily loses the GPS fix, it will trigger software that uses an onboard digital compass and data previously collected from the GPS to approximate its position. The keel has even been designed to shed seaweed and other debris that would slow the boat. The forethought that has gone into these systems is significant and we look forward to testing them as the project moves along.
Costs have been accumulating and for us to complete this project and send it on its journey, we'll need to raise about two thousand and five hundred dollars. With this money, we'll be able to cover the costs of this groundbreaking project and put more of our focus on the project itself.
We're more than just a team of friends working towards a common goal- we are making use of some fantastic resources available to us including world famous marine engineers and designers, offshore sailors and navigators, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and the resources of our respective colleges.
Scout is a very exciting, very ambitious project that we have made significant progress on so far. We have reached the point where we can affirm that it will be fully capable of what we have set out to do. We need supporters, both big and small, to support the construction of Scout; a boat that may be the first ever surface vessel to cross the Atlantic Ocean without any outside assistance.
Make sure to visit the website at www.GoTransat.com
- (40 days)