Inspired by previous projects such as Solar Voyager and Sea Charger, my aim is to build a boat that will sail to the Arctic and take photos of icebergs! It will be unmanned, remotely controlled and autonomous.
Powered by Raspberry Pi and Arduino
This will be the brains of the boat, collecting sensor data, controlling navigation, monitoring power and communicating back to mission control.
Solar and Wind
It will be powered by 200w solar panels and a vertical axis wind turbine. Power is one of the greatest challenges because in the Arctic the low angle of the sun and cold temperatures make it difficult to generate power. Propulsion takes most of the power, but image recognition and analysis can also be power intensive.
Custom Designed Hull
The hull has been custom designed to allow a large deck for solar panels and a wind turbine, whilst keeping the volume of hull in the water low to create a more efficient design. A fiberglass construction has been used to keep it lightweight but strong.
It will be equipped with 2 cameras and an AIS receiver (location transponders for boats). This allows a predetermined course to be followed but when an obstacle/boat is detected it will navigate around the obstacle.
There are numerous applications for machine learning, but one of the primary things it will be used for is to determine what is ahead of the boat, is it land, ice, ocean, or something else in the water. As much data will be collected as possible, and will be used for optimising performance and detecting faults.
Multiple methods of communication are used depending on the circumstance. 434Mhz radio is used when close by, 3G (Hologram Nova) is used near shore, or when further away Iridium satellites are used (Rock Block Seven).