A Sea Trekking Rechargeable Instrumented Drifter (STRIDR)
STRIDR is a small, low-cost Lagrangian drifter with a standard suite of sensors including GPS, a 10–DOF inertial measurement unit, a microphone, and temperature and pressure sensors. Optional sensors include a sky pointing camera, a hydrophone, a radio frequency detector, or a conductivity sensor. On-board processing produces environmental measurements including drifter location and surface current estimates, wave statistics, atmospheric and ocean surface temperature, barometric pressure, wind speed, humidity, and cloud cover. STRIDR’s LINUX based operating system runs on a low-power ARM processor and includes a Python based analysis environment. This permits developing and deploying additional processing algorithms using modern development tools and APIs.
With its small size and rugged construction, STRIDR is easily deployed from a variety of platforms. While STRIDR is designed to be expendable and minimize environmental impact, including elimination of almost all plastic, it incorporates several design features to extend its lifespan. A lithium polymer battery is recharged by four solar panels attached to STRIDR’s stabilizing drifter arms. This extends drifter life and allows bursts of high-power processing, enabling a broad and adaptable mission set.