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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Barbados Meteorological Services Making Impressive Waves With Its New Autonaut

With its recently acquired autonaut, Barbados Meteorological Services (BMS) is dominating its industry and rising to the top of the regional class.

The Met Office would be able to collect data from the marine environment and the wave motion off Barbados at all times while on a mission thanks to the unmanned surface vessel (USV).

The AutoNaut can be remotely operated out at sea for a period of time up to six months while powered by sunlight.

Barbados Meteorological Services would be the first Met Office in the area to own and control a USV for the aim of improving forecasting capabilities.

USVs are often used by security and defense personnel.

Director of the BMS Sabu Best said, “This is not the first time they have been in the Caribbean, but as far as my knowledge, it’s the first time that a Met Agency is actually controlling them and deploying them to the magnitude that we will be doing too.”

He was speaking while standing next to the first of what would eventually be a fleet of four AutoNauts by year’s end.

The BMS will be collaborating and working with the Unit to take the first vessel into open water but not too far out and do some testing to the East, North, and West to a certain distance, noting that the Barbados Defense Force – Coast Guard has prior experience working with a USV. “Once that clears,  then we will be pushing it well off…of Barbados”.

He claimed that possessing a USV during hurricane season may significantly alter the situation.

We are actually able to move, command it remotely, and direct it where to go in circumstances where Bret or a Storm like Bret is approaching. We are able to maneuver this vessel, go collect data, and receive it almost instantly.

He remarked that cooperating with the reconnaissance aircraft would be “useful.”

“It can even help the aircraft in that it knows, can give us a sense of where the center may or may not be, and so it can help with the planning and planning operations, etc.”



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