Track the Boat
Track the boat here:
Launched from Newfoundland
The boat was shipped to Newfoundland in several packages and launched from a fishing boat about 5.5 km (3.4 miles) from the harbour. The route from Newfoundland to Ireland has been chosen as the shortest path across the Atlantic, and it's also in the direction of prevailing winds.
How It Works
The main framework is built from aluminum profiles on top of a surfboard, so the boat will never sink. The boat is balanced by a heavy keel that would flip the boat back over in case it flips. This concept has been chosen for its fast assembly and also because of the ability to make easy modifications. It's more like a proof of concept, with the purpose to test different hardware modules and navigation software before proceeding to a more streamlined design.
The sail is designed to resist high ocean winds. It is made from ripstop nylon that is reinforced by nylon webbing and thick carbon fiber tubes.
The electronics is securely sealed in a Pelican case and two polycarbonate cases. The Pelican case contains four LiFePo4 batteries, solar charge controller and an Arduino-based controller for navigation.
The Iridium satellite module, as well as GPS, is in a separate polycarbonate case for better signal reception. Another polycarbonate case contains a SPOT tracker and a GPS logger too.
You can find more about hacking SPOT Trace in the project log.
The video below demonstrates the rudder being turned by a servo when the compass is off-course.
The servo alone is said to be IP67 waterproof, but what if the boat encounters 5-meter waves? A few layers of latex gloves filled with a silicone grease were added for extra protection.
A Git2 action camera is recording a 15-second video every 30 minutes. The camera has been hacked to be powered by the primary battery source and controlled by Arduino.
The video is stored on a 128 GB SD card, and it can be accessed only when the boat is recovered because it is unrealistic to transmit any part of the video over a satellite network. Sending a single high-resolution image would cost hundreds of dollars, not to mention that the speed is significantly lower than dial-up.
What comes after failure, is another trial. A new boat built from super-strong materials with radically improved hardware and software will be definitely more capable to cross the ocean. Stay tuned for the next transatlantic attempt in 2017!