Seadrones: Drones Are Taking To The Sea

by | Oct 26, 2016 | Cool Stuff

Just as we’ve gotten used to drones flying overhead and the idea of autonomous, self-driving cars, another new and revolutionary technology is making a splash. Water drones, known as seadrones are already in the works and may soon be patrolling oceans and other bodies of water all around the world. According to some seadrone manufacturers, the water drones could be patrolling the waters by as early as 2020.


One of the really exciting aspects of these drones is that they are being built with a larger payload than sky drones. That means seadrones may end up revolutionizing the shipping industry. Right now, some of the seadrone test models can only hold an additional 250 pounds, but as the technology advances, we could see that payload drastically increase, especially as the size of drones increases and they become autonomous.

Patrolling Fishing Grounds

One of the first and most useful tasks the seadrones will mostly likely face is patrolling fishing grounds. For example, the recent announcement of the UK leaving the European Union means fishing grounds will be reopened to UK fisheries. This could be a great thing for the economy, but could be bad for the ocean and the fish ecosystem. Seadrones will be instrumental in tracking schools of fish and monitoring the temperature of the ocean to make sure the fish aren’t overfished.

Measuring Chemicals, Waste, and Oil Levels

The autonomous, patrolling seadrones will be extremely helpful in monitoring and measuring chemicals, waste, and oil levels in the ocean. After oil spills, it’s often debated on how much an impact the oil has on the ocean and surrounding environment. By using these drones, scientists will be able to improve the conditions of the oceans and help prevent further deterioration.

How are the drones doing all of this?

The simple answer is sensors and radios. These seadrones are actually using sensors and radios very similar to the ones StratoStar uses on our high-altitude weather balloons.  These sensors and radios do some really cool stuff like monitor the temperature of the air around the drone and the temperature of the water. They can also measure the salinity levels of the water, which is instrumental in helping scientists track climate change and the impact it has to the water and ocean life.

Want to learn more about how StratoStar uses similar sensors and radios in weather balloon projects? We’d love for you to connect with StratoStar and talk about how launching a weather balloon can have a huge impact on your students and your curriculum!
Image from Saildrone.