December 21, 2018

Saildrone is a state-of-the-art, wind and solar powered unmanned surface vehicle (USV) capable of long distance deployments lasting up to 12 months. This novel sampling platform, that is wind propelled but may be guided remotely from land, is equipped with a suite of instruments providing high quality, georeferenced, near real-time, multi-parameter surface ocean and atmospheric observations while transiting at typical speeds of 3-5 knots. During the Baja campaign, a single deployed Saildrone was equipped with a suite of instruments that included a CTD, IR pyrometer, fluorometer, dissolved oxygen sensor, anemometer, barometer, and Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP).

The Saildrone Baja campaign was a 60-day cruise from San Francisco Bay, down along the US/Mexico coast to Guadalupe Island and back again over the period 11 April 2018 to 11 June 2018. The cruise track (Figure 1) was selected to optimize both the science and validation objectives included in these projects. Scientific objectives included studies of upwelling and frontal region dynamics, air-sea interactions, and diurnal warming effects, while its validation objectives included establishing the utility of data from the Saildrone platform for assessment of satellite data accuracy and model assimilation.

The resulting Saildrone Baja dataset available from the PO.DAAC is comprised of one data file with the Saildrone platform telemetry and near-surface observational data (air temperature, sea surface skin and bulk temperatures, salinity, oxygen and chlorophyll-a concentrations, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction) for the entire cruise at 1 minute temporal resolution (Figure 2). A second file contains the ADCP current vector data that is depth-resolved to 100 m at 2 m intervals and binned temporally at 5 minute resolution.

Saildrone Resources at PO.DAAC:

Saildrone Figure

Figure 1: Baja Saildrone deployment and cruise track in relation to SST imagery.


Saildrone Figure 3

Figure 2: Comparison of Saildrone and collocated satellite sea surface temperature observations over the Baja campaign cruise track.  Images were kindly provided by the Ensenada Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education, Baja California, Mexico (CICESE).