2018 Microtransat: the SeaLeon crosses the start line

As part of the MicroTransat challenge, the SeaLeon has crossed now over 1100 km in 18 days.  Launched from Scatarie Island, this autonomous sailboat has now reached the start line in an attempt to reach Europe autonomously. The UW-STREAM has been responsible for the development of the controller system. It is designed to be on the water for 120 days, and the electronics system was chosen to maintain low energy consumption throughout its journey.  Thank you to Xeos  for providing satellite communication and localization. Track the SeaLeon route here.  

You can find details of our story on CBC and on Dalhousie News.  

August 24 2018

As of today, the SeaLeon has behaved well, and is following its planned course as expected. At the beginning of the week, she faced some ENE winds, which has slowed its path.  Since then, she travelled at a very good pace, reaching over 6 km/h. She has now travelled 1800 km, in 24 days. Below is the current position of the SeaLeon, along with her planned route, as designed and drawn by Robert Warner.

 

September 22 2018

September 22 2018

 

After the last post, in the last week of August, the SeaLeon took an unexpected turn, and travelled 410  km North. Our team has attempted to find different explanations for this, but none could be confirmed because we lost our telemetry link providing us sensor information. Since then, she has been steadily making some progress towards the Old Continent.  The controller seems to still be operational and we can recognize that the boat takes appropriate directions towards the next waypoint. 

Generally, the boat speed is reduced compared to its original statistics, although once in a while we will find some bursts above 5 km/hour.  As shown in the Figure below, the SeaLeon is 140 km from the next waypoint...barring another detour.  

The SeaLeon has now autonomously travelled 2880 km in 53 days, and is demonstrating great endurance!  Hopefully she still has much more in her, so that we can visit our friends in France. 

 

After the last post, in the last week of August, the SeaLeon took an unexpected turn, and travelled 410  km North. Our team has attempted to find different explanations for this, but none could be confirmed because we lost our telemetry link providing us sensor information. Since then, she has been steadily making some progress towards the Old Continent.  The controller seems to still be operational and we can recognize that the boat takes appropriate directions towards the next waypoint. 

Generally, the boat speed is reduced compared to its original statistics, although once in a while we will find some bursts above 5 km/hour.  As shown in the Figure below, the SeaLeon is 140 km from the next waypoint...barring another detour.  

The SeaLeon has now autonomously travelled 2880 km in 53 days, and is demonstrating great endurance!  Hopefully she still has much more in her, so that we can visit our friends in France. 

 

February 23 2019

After having lost communication with the SeaLeon, surprise! we received an email from Castletownbere, West Cork, Ireland. The SeaLeon reached Europe about 100 knots North of the Microtransat finish line, and has been the new attraction of the community. A family Sheila and Ollie O'Regan were the first to contact us, and it is  now secured on land.  After so many months (we last received contact on October 14, 2018), this is completely unexpected.  Although she seems to be in pretty rough shape, we're looking at alternatives to bring her back home! 

 

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