AWS re:Invent 2019 – Sebastien De Halleux of Saildrone Talks About Using AWS to Monitor Ocean Data
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Saildrone designs, manufactures, and operates a global fleet of wind and solar-powered ocean drones that monitor the planet in real time. Each saildrone carries a suite of sensors to measure atmospheric and oceanographic variables with high precision—even in challenging conditions.

AWS provides scale and resiliency so that the saildrones can gather data around the clock without interruption. For example, saildrones are helping governments and fishing companies monitor the biomass of fish stock around the world, including in the Bering and Chukchi Seas in the U.S. Arctic. This information affects millions of jobs globally. Moreover, Saildrone has completed the first unmanned, autonomous circumnavigation of Antarctica, collecting data about the role of the Southern Ocean in regulating the planet’s carbon dioxide levels, a navigational feat made possible by using AWS compute clusters.

Looking to the future, Saildrone is working toward creating a “Quantified Planet” with 1,000 ocean drones feeding a global numerical model running on AWS EC2 P3 and C5n instances rather than on supercomputers. This saildrones are already beginning to deliver insights on global precipitation, winds, storms, and heat fluxes, like El Niño.

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