Saildrone returns to San Francisco

 Saildrone monitors the ocean outside of San Francisco Bay.

Saildrone monitors the ocean outside of San Francisco Bay.

The Saildrone unmanned surface vehicle was deployed to collect data on a 60-day cruise from San Francisco Bay, down along the US/Mexico coast to Guadalupe Island and back, from April 2018 to June 2018.  This cruise track was chosen in order to sample regions with highly dynamic coastal upwelling, with exceptionally low cloud cover to facilitate satellite clear-sky validation, and to optimize the collocation of Saildrone data observations with existing data from the NOAA National Data Buoy Center moored buoys and coastal High Frequency (HF) radar surface currents.  Scientific objectives include studies of upwelling dynamics, air-sea interactions including frontal regions and diurnal warming regions, and ocean ecology.  The validation objectives were to establish the utility of Saildrone measurements for inclusion into ocean models and validation of glider observations and satellite data including sea surface temperatures, ocean currents, and wind vectors.