The British-built AutoNaut Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) has been purchased by the Barbados Meteorological Services (BMS) and will be used to provide data to assist with Hurricane tracking.
The sensors on board will provide the scientists at BMS with humidity, conductivity, temperature, depth, wind and wave data. This will allow the scientist to monitor and observe the changes as different weather patterns approach the island of Barbados.
The AutoNaut USV will be deployed from Barbados and will track tropical storms. The data collected by the USV will be transmitted to meteorologists at the BMS. The BMS will use this data to improve their forecasting of future storm intensities, direction and providing timely warnings to the public.
The deployment of the AutoNaut USV is part of a larger effort to improve the understanding of tropical storms and to better predict their impact.
The sensors fitted onboard the USVs are:
Rotronics Humidity Sensor
- Humidity levels effect materials of all types as well as individuals’ health and wellbeing. Meteorological reports necessarily include the measurement of air humidity as well as temperature and other parameters. It is crucial to measure temperature together with humidity since a small variation in temperature has a large effect.
Seabird 49 FastCAT CTD – Conductivity, Temperature and Depth sensor
- The SBE 49 FastCAT is an integrated CTD sensor intended for use as a modular component in towed vehicles, ROVs, AUVs, or other autonomous platforms. It is an easy-to-use, light, and compact instrument, well suited to even the smallest vehicle.
Xylem Wave Sensor
- The MOTUS (movement in latin) Wave Sensor 5729 is a directional wave sensor module for measuring Waves with Marketing Lead accuracy. MOTUS is a compact, low power accelerometer based sensor that is designed to accurately measure multi-spectrum directional waves.
FT7 Wind Sensor
- The FT7 Series of ultrasonic wind sensors deliver highly accurate and consistent wind speed and direction data from compact sensors. With no moving parts, built-in heaters, and resistance to a wide range of environmental factors, the FT7 series sensors are maintenance-free and will last for years, even in the harshest of climates.
Wilfred Abrahams Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, has unveiled the AutoNaut “The Wilfred Ocean Hunter”, one of four AutoNaut vessels purchased by the BMS, fitted with the most innovative and up-to-date sensors, providing real time data over satellite.
Sabu Best, Director of BMS, stated; “We are using the AutoNauts to provide real time meteorological data. Enabling us to better predict the path and strength of a storm.”