The Wind And Solar Powered Datamaran UMV

Wind and solar powered Datamaran

Autonomous Marine Systems Inc. (AMS) has secured USD $3.5 million in funding, part of which will go towards further developing and deploying its zero-emission sailcraft, Datamaran.

The Boston-based startup announced $1.6M in seed funding last week, added to $1.9M grant money the company won last year.

The centerpiece of the company’s operation serves as a platform for sensors and instrumentation. AMS says Datamaran can be operated in the open ocean for long periods without needing human intervention or fuel.

” By deploying these vehicles in large fleets, AMS will drastically lower the cost of ocean data collection, including data that helps manage ocean resources and feeds into climate models,” says part of a recent press release from the company.

Datamaran has a length of 2.5 m, width of 1.7 m, a mast 2.3 metres high and weighs 85 kilograms with the full payload of 25kg.

The craft is propelled by wind captured by a self-trimming rigid wing sale. An electrically driven propeller is also used for tight maneuvering and to boost speed.

Datamaran’s deck is covered by solar panels that charge a 600 watt-hour battery as standard, with capacity for up to 4200 watt-hours.


The craft carries an impressive array of instruments that can detect/measure:

  • barometric pressure
  • surface salinity and conductivity
  • submarine detection and ship positioning/tracking
  • wave spectrum
  • water quality
  • surface currents
  • air and water temperature
  • carbon transport
  • subsurface currents
  • oil spills
  • dissolved oxygen levels
  • wind direction and speed

..and the list goes on. Datamaran communicates via satellite, GSM or modem; depending on the distance from shore or control vessel.

Once Datamaran arrives at a location, it can station-keep within a fifty meter radius to provide continuous and reliable data collection and transmission.

“The AMS network bridges the gap between satellite networks, and the interior of the oceans without requiring a large ship. AMS is cost-effectively bringing the internet of things to the marine space,” states the company.

“Swarms of Datamarans can self-organize for maximum efficiency in carrying out their mission. This capability allows for ocean surveillance of unprecedented richness and responsiveness to changing conditions.”

Other wind and/or solar powered Unmanned Marine Vehicles (UMV’s) we’ve covered in the past include the Wave Glider and C-Enduro.