Mini Solar wind powered World Cruiser

I have this idea for so long that I can remember it. It’s imaginative and something that I want to do someday. While it’s probably useless or purposeless, but still I think it’s very romantic if it can be done.

Basically, I want to build a little tiny board that can randomly go anywhere in the world. It’s solar and wind powered, so it can stay on the ocean forever, and once launched, I don’t want it back, but I do want to get its location update via GPS everyday, so I can track it online.

Is this mission impossible or what?

If not, what do I need?

Satellite phone connection to send location data to somewhere. Or possibly some ham radio kind of connection.

Wind-powered, need mechanical bits there to spin a propeller or something as start of electricity generating path. Some kind of pyramid shaped solar array to collect sunlight from multiple directions I think would be more robust and easier to waterproof, so you just need GPS antenna and RF antenna on or outside the surface of the pyramid.

flyandance: I have this idea for so long that I can remember it. It's imaginative and something that I want to do someday. While it's probably useless or purposeless, but still I think it's very romantic if it can be done.

Basically, I want to build a little tiny board that can randomly go anywhere in the world. It's solar and wind powered, so it can stay on the ocean forever, and once launched, I don't want it back, but I do want to get its location update via GPS everyday, so I can track it online.

Is this mission impossible or what?

If not, what do I need?

Actually quite doable. Many different devices are floating the oceans and sending position and other data via satellite. Turtle migration, fish migration, whale migrations and other stuff all do this. Your challenge will be paying for the satellite service.

Paul

How about an “Arduino in a bottle”

…R

One word: redundancy.

ChrisTenone: One word: redundancy.

Two bottles :)

And make sure they start filled with a good quality brandy.

...R

I don't see how a mechanical system exposed to the extremes of high winds, salt water, cold temperatures, would be a good redundancy for anything. Subject to freezing up, damage from debris, possibly over-revving. Solar charging a battery seems like a better option - that's what the Mars rovers all have.

Look up the MicroTransAt challenge -- an autonomous sailboat that crosses the Atlantic.

It has been running for years, and no entries have made it yet. The most recent "lost at sea" was the UBC Sailbot.

Robin2: Two bottles :)

And make sure they start filled with a good quality brandy.

...R

Why on Earth would anyone want to pitch two bottles filled with good quality brandy into the ocean?? or, not so good quality,...

Umm, maybe brandy is less dense than water, so the bottle will float better? Or a passing boat will behave favorably and call you over the Sat Phone to tell you where they found the brandy at ...

123Splat: Why on Earth would anyone want to pitch two bottles filled with good quality brandy into the ocean?? or, not so good quality,...

Don't be silly. I meant that one should consume the contents first. ;)

...R

I still want to know how to use the solar wind to power a sail boat!

Paul

It's not hard after you clear the Earth's atmosphere, just unfurl the jib sail and away you go. Tacking to get back could be a little tougher ...

You deploy a large (say 1Km sq.) mylar film sail, which has a gold vapor deposited on one side for reflectivity, on long tethers. The charged particles fill the sail and provide thrust at a constantly increasing rate, until you get to Heliomax, at which point you lose the thrust and coast into the endless void of interstellar space without any other means of propulsion. Thank God, you had the good sense not to throw the brandy into the ocean.....

Read Larry Niven to get a feel for solar sailing.