Researchers deploy unmanned Sail Drones as an Australian first science mission

January 25th, 2018

Researchers from CSIRO are beginning an Australian first science mission to deploy ocean surface unmanned Sail Drones to sail the world.

Typical research vessel ships cost tens of thousands of dollars per day to operate and require several on-board staff and researchers to operate equipment and collect data. However sail drones are unoccupied sail crafts controlled remotely from smart devices and rely on solar to charge their batteries and wind to sail. Additionally, sail drones are not weather dependent like ship work is and can stay out in extreme conditions for up to 12 months at a time. Sail Drones can also sample at much shallower waters, while research vessels are typically restricted to a minimum of 20 metres in depth.

The sail drones will collect significant data throughout the world, which will aid in the future of marine sustainability. Recently sail drones gathered data from various species of Pollock by using an Echo Sounder instrument which bounces sound waves off the backs of the fish and records the abundance of fish in the area.

Sail drones can also be programmed to follow individual animals; this was carried out in 2016 when specific fur seals were tracked to record their habits such as dive information and swimming locations. This data collection assists in determining marine food availability in different parts of the ocean.

Sail Drone technology opens up a new world for science and research, and it is as a result of significant research and development that such a technology can now be used and operated worldwide. Companies engaging in research and development (R&D) are greatly supported and can be eligible to receive up to a 43.5% tax offset for eligible R&D expenditure. Swanson Reed R&D Tax Consultants help companies to claim this incentive and ensure that they receive the maximum amount they are eligible for. Contact one of our advisors today for an eligibility assessment, we look forward to speaking with you and guiding you through the process of receiving your company’s tax incentive.