Autonomous Wind and Solar Powered Cargo Vessels
Award last edited on: 2/10/23

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
Total Award Amount
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Solicitation Topic Code
Principal Investigator
Pierce Nichols

Company Information

Ladon Robotics LLC

8006 213th Street Sw
Edmonds, WA 98026
   (925) 216-1795
Location: Single
Congr. District: 02
County: Snohomish

Phase I

Contract Number: 2130478
Start Date: 3/15/22    Completed: 6/30/23
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is to develop autonomous, ocean-going cargo vessels powered by a combination of wind and solar power. These vessels will enable the provision of cheaper and more frequent sea freight service to isolated communities, such as those in coastal Alaska. The technology seeks to the lower operating costs by removing liquid or solid fuels or onboard crew, enabling the vessels to be more readily right-sized to particular routes and markets. The project may also have positive impacts on the environment by eliminating fossil fuel emissions and reducing marine noise impacts on wildlife, such as marine mammals.This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will integrate existing robotic and energy capture technologies with newly developed wind/solar combined energy optimization software and autonomous contingency management. A vessel using both the wind and sun for propulsion has a difficult energy optimization problem, both on a minute-to-minute basis but also on the scale of an entire voyage; This project will build a model for solving this intermitancy problem given specific vessel performance characteristics and weather predictions. Likewise, this project will build a framework for addressing the autonomous contingency management problem for uncrewed marine surface vehicles given a particular set of vehicle and system characteristics. The focus will be on ship-to-shore communications contingencies because those are the most serious for the contemplated target system.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Phase II

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Start Date: 00/00/00    Completed: 00/00/00
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