On September 6, 1620, the Mayflower set sail for America with 102 intrepid early settlers bound for the new land across the Atlantic Ocean, a perilous journey which took 66 days to reach what we now know as Cape Cod, Mass.
To mark the 400th anniversary of this undertaking, a team led by U.S.-owned but Plymouth-based firm MSubs, and including Plymouth University and charitable research foundation ProMare, has initiated a plan to design and build a fully autonomous ship to make the same Atlantic crossing, completely unmanned, in 2020. During the voyage, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship – MAS400 – will conduct a series of scientific experiments before arriving at its destination in the U.S. Unlike the original Mayflower however, the final destination isn’t America, as the plan is for MAS400 to continue on an unmanned circumnavigation of the globe, eventually returning to its home port of Plymouth.
Silicon Sensing is to provide a package of support to help turn the MAS400 concept into reality. In addition to sponsorship of the project, Silicon Sensing will supply its latest precision MEMS IMU (Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems - Inertial Measurement Unit), the DMU30, to provide the inertial sensing data within the electronic autopilot to help guide MAS400 during its ocean adventures. MSubs and Silicon Sensing have been collaborating on the evaluation of DMU30 for future INS-based surface and subsea navigation solutions for a variety of projects at MSubs.