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Sailing Team Darmstadt

Ship ahoy! - Sailing across the Atlantic, autonomous and independent of energy sources

Sending a sailing boat to sail autonomously across the ocean is the vision of the Sailing Team Darmstadt e.V. Over 40 students from all faculties of Darmstadt Technical University have been working on this project since 2009. A sailing boat that is to cross the Atlantic without any crew whatsoever.

Trimming the sales, jibing, turning and evading, the sailing boat does all this itself. Everything began with a 1 meter long model boat in 2009. Thanks to the modifications and the technical know-how that has been gained since, it is now autonomously seaworthy. The team would now like to replace its present sailing boat with a larger one. And this is why they need a new boat, which is to be up to 4 metres long.

The first problem: the open sea – the shortest route is not always the best one. The second problem: integrating the weather, wind and current data in the planning of the route so that the sail is not destroyed and the boat does not capsize. Sensors that measure the wind, determine the GPS coordinates and detect the inclination of the boat are intended to help here. The boat must automatically collect and evaluate all of this data and then pass on commands to the motors which control the sails and the rudder.

A battery system that is charged by solar energy supplies the energy required for the computer and the control system. To ensure that the sensitive electronics can stand up to storms, salt water and the tough conditions at sea, the team decided to use our OKW In-Box made of ABS plastic. The requirements to be met by the enclosure were: low weight, waterproof up to IP 66/67 as well as recesses for interfaces etc.

The boat has to cover approx. 7000 km on the open sea. The Sailing Team thus has big plans. We wish them much success in their forthcoming crossing of the Atlantic.

ImpressionS

SHIP AHOY! - SAILING ACROSS THE ATLANTIC Sailing Team Darmstadt e.V. Sailing boat Detail sailing boat