PILGRIMS VOYAGE - MAS's direction of travel is the reverse of the
Scout and Voyager autonomous Atlantic
attempts that took advantage of trade winds. The Mayflower will be
heading into prevailing winds and currents. If sail powered, she would need to tack. But powered by a
engine, with support from the deck mounted solar panels, there may be no need for
that - except, that we saw her struggling when out at sea. Energy from nature is used to power the onboard AI and satellite
communications. Many media reports inaccurately refer to wind power as a
feature of the MAS, but you can plainly see that there is no wind
turbine or wing-sail on this craft.
WASHINGTON POST 17 SEPTEMBER 2020 - BRITAIN LAUNCHES NEW HIGH-TECH MAYFLOWER FOR OCEAN EXPLORATION
The ship, which will have no crew, will cross to America after gathering ocean data.
The U.S. ambassador to Britain officially launched a ship named Mayflower on Wednesday, 400 years to the day after a wooden vessel with that name sailed from an English port and changed the history of two continents.
Unlike the merchant ship that carried a group of European Puritan settlers to a new life across the Atlantic Ocean in 1620, the Mayflower christened by U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson has no crew or passengers. It will cross the sea powered by sun and wind, and steered by artificial intelligence (AI).
Johnson said the high-tech ship, developed jointly by British-based marine research organization ProMare and U.S. tech giant IBM, showed that “the pioneering spirit of the Mayflower really lives on” in the trans-Atlantic partnership.
“We’re heading out with the same spirit of adventure and determination and vision for the future” as the original colonists, the American diplomat said.
Like the Mayflower in 1620, the new vessel will travel from Plymouth, England, to Plymouth, Massachusetts, but on a marine research trip rather than a colony-founding journey. The coronavirus pandemic has delayed its trip until the spring of 2021.
The ship’s launch in Plymouth, 200 miles southwest of London, is part of Mayflower commemorations disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. They involve British, Americans and Dutch institutions — many of the 17th-century Pilgrims had fled England for Holland in the years before the voyage — and the
Wampanoag people, who had lived for thousands of years in what is now New England.
In 1620, the Wampanoag helped the exhausted Mayflower settlers survive their first winter. But soon colonial expansion, conflict and new diseases were having a devastating impact on North America’s indigenous peoples.
Wampanoag stories have been marginalized on past Mayflower anniversaries, but they are playing a big part in events and exhibitions this time around.
’It’s going a long way to lend balance to this story,” said Paula Peters, a Wampanoag writer and educator who has helped create anniversary exhibitions.
“We don’t expect people to take one side or the other,” Peters said. “But certainly the story of the Mayflower is one that really can’t be told without telling also the story of the Wampanoag.″
The Mayflower Autonomous Ship — its creators decided against a snappier name — is intended to be the first in a new generation of crewless high-tech vessels that can explore parts of oceans too difficult or dangerous for people to reach.
Andy Stanford-Clark, chief technology officer for IBM U.K. and Ireland, said the ship’s launch “is a very exciting stage of the journey toward autonomous shipping” that could pave the way for AI-driven cargo ships, water taxis and research vessels — as well as warships.
The 50-foot trimaran will undertake six months of sea trials and short trips before setting out on its trans-Atlantic trip to measure ocean health: assessing the impact of climate change, measuring micro-plastic pollution and studying populations of whales and dolphins.
Along the way, its AI captain will have to make complex decisions in response to wind, waves, vessels and unknown surprises.
“We’re quietly confident we’re going to make it,” Stanford-Clark said. “Ultimately, the sea will decide.”
EVENT CALENDAR 2021
MAS 400 is an
trimaran powered by a
engine, piloted by a solar powered artificially intelligent
system developed by IBM called 'AI Captain.'
BIT OF HISTORY
first solar boat to travel around the world was the PlanetSolar,
coming home on the 4th of May 2012. Computing power was not as advanced
as it is today, when PlanetSolar set off on 27th September 2010,
following the Sunshine Route, first shown in London at the 1994/95 Boat
Show. Then in January 2013 a patent specification for a COLREGs
compliant, unmanned autonomous navigation system was filed by a BMS
engineer ( now our IP) with the suggestion in 'Claims' for using a solar
powered trimaran (patent granted 12 June 2019) as a suitable hull
configuration. This patent also included wind energy harvesting as
originally advertised for the Mayflower 400.
The original wooden
30-meter Mayflower took 66 days to carry
Founding Fathers from the U.K. to what is now the U.S. The voyage would
have involved a lot of tacking,
because sailing ships cannot sail directly into the wind. But the new
boat should take two to three weeks (14-21 days) depending on how strong
the prevailing trade
winds are, and assuming no technical glitches or marine accidents -
the whole point of the COLREGs
CONTACTS & REFERENCE