Sailing Team Darmstadt - With their own boat across the Atlantik
Mr. Benker (2nd Executive Board) who or what is the Sailing Team Darmstadt?
Our team at the Technical University of Darmstadt was established in 2009. The Sailing Team is an inter-disciplinary group consisting of roughly 40 students and alumni. The fields of activity range from energy supply, autonomous path finding, electronics development and control engineering, all the way through to mechanics and software.
We have one major objective: to develop and build a sailing boat that will cross the Atlantic unmanned and self-sufficient in terms of the energy it needs. No one has ever done that before!
These are very ambitious objectives. How would you like to reach them?
We have grown into a team of 40 people with expertise spanning various areas. Each member of the team is keen to contribute his or her skills and thus help the team to advance. In this way, we are constantly developing ourselves. We have also been able to accumulate extensive experience in recent years. Particularly within the discipline of autonomous navigation development, we have made a significant step forward.
What successes has the Sailing Team enjoyed so far?
At the World Robotics Sailing Championships 2013 in France, we sent our first prototype, a 110cm long model boat, into the Atlantic Ocean. This sailed 7 kilometres unmanned – a great success with the technology available at the time. The boat navigated automatically according to GPS coordinates. It performed all the tasks for which a human would normally have to be on board themselves.
What is the team working on right now?
To date, we have been working on a larger successor model since 2015. With great ambition, we want to launch it for the first time in the spring of 2018. Until then, there are still many things on our to-do list and challenges to overcome. The tasks range from designing the fuselage and the development of circuit boards and software to achieving autonomous navigation and ensuring absolute reliability. We develop, design, and manufacture almost all parts of the four-metre boat ourselves.
And this time, we clearly do not want to leave it at 7 kilometres. We want to send this model right across the Atlantic!
How did you become aware of norelem as a sponsor?
We became aware of you in the course of some internet research.
Where are the products from norelem to be used?
In the individually designed test stands for the construction of our boat, for example. Here, we depend on modular design systems from norelem, which are made of aluminium profiles. These fit perfectly to our requirements due to the fast and flexible assembly options available. Fortunately, norelem also supplies compatible connecting sets, T-slot nuts, gauge joints and other products, so that we can easily get everything from one supplier.