We are developing "Spilled Oil Tracking Autonomous Buoy (SOTAB)" to take adequate measures for oil disasters. The first type of SOTAB takes descending and ascending procedures to track spilled oil. Through the sea trials using this first type of SOTAB, we found that the effect of wind over sea surface is significant on drifting oil. Now, we are developing the second type of SOTAB considering the above mentioned effect by adopting a yacht shape with a sail.
In recent years, the oil disasters caused by wreckage of ships often happen. Once spilled oil drifts ashore, the damages to coastal environment is very large, To prevent such damages, we should collect spilled oil on the sea before it drifts ashore and deploy the machineries for collecting spilled oil along the beaches. We are developing "Spilled Oil Tracking Autonomous Buoy (SOTAB)" to collect the location data of spilled oil and the meteorological and oceanographic data around it in real time (Senga et al., 2009). We have already developed the first type of SOTAB with descending and ascending procedures to guide itself to spilled oil using two kinds of oil detecting sensors. We found that the effect of wind over sea surface is significant on drifting oil through the sea trials using the first type of SOTAB. Fig. 1 Concept of autonomous tracking (the first type of SOTAB) We designed the second type of SOTAB considering the above mentioned effect by adopting a yacht shape with a sail. This paper deals with steady sailing performance of SOTAB with yacht shape for tracking spilled oil on sea surface by controlling the area and the direction of the sail and a rudder.