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NASA Sends Robots to Study Climate Change in the Arctic

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Two saildrones awaiting deployment from Dutch Harbor, AK.

The unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), propelled by wind and featuring solar-powered sensors, can be steered from computers hundreds of miles away.

Credit: Saildrone

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) dispatched two robots to the Arctic in early July to collect sea surface temperature data and provide better estimates of ocean temperatures there.

Partnered with unmanned surface vehicle (USV) maker Saildrone, NASA researchers hope to use information gathered by the robots to study climate change in that region.

Wind and solar-powered sensors propel autonomous Saildrone USVs, which are steered remotely from hundreds of miles off.

The vehicles can validate satellite data that may be used to develop and enhance algorithms that simulate temperature change.

The 2021 NASA Arctic Cruise is part of the Multi-Sensor Improved Sea Surface Temperature (MISST) project, an international and inter-agency initiative to augment weather and climate research and forecasting.

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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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