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Autonomous Transatlantic Vessel

A project by: Adam Alcantara


WE RAISED £1,297

from 14 donors

This project received pledges on Sun 07 Jan 2018

The University of Southampton's Student Support Fund provides matched funding opportunities for academic priorities focused on advancing research, enterprise and innovation.

Develop an autonomous self-sufficient vessel able to cross the Atlantic

Team Peruagus

We are Team Peruagus. We aim to design and build the first autonomous vessel capable of crossing the Atlantic within the regulations set by the Microtransat Challenge (May 2017).

The Microtransat Challenge is attempted by several teams every year and has so far not been finished successfully. We aim to change that. Since “the race aims to stimulate the development of autonomous boats through friendly competition”, all attempts are documented thoroughly.

The Members

Team Peruagus is made up of 6 fourth year Ship Science students, undertaking this project as our Group Design Project. We are:

Elettra Ganoulis, Team Leader

Julian Niedernaier, Secretary

Adam Alcantara, Marketing and Outreach

Antonio Mazzone Tur, Head of Operations and Production

Nicholas Jones, Marketing and Outreach

Robert Winn, Head of Finances and Procurement

The Challenge

We are designing and manufacturing an autonomous vessel capable of crossing the Atlantic under the regulations of the Microtransat Challenge as our Group Design Project.

The challenge has never been completed, with all previous vessels failing for a variety of reasons. We are carefully analysing the attempts of each previous team, as well as selecting the optimum route, to ensure that our vessel succeeds where all others have failed. We will be designing and building a vessel from the ground up, with each system carefully selected to be both effective and resilient to the conditions it will face in the Atlantic.

We chose this project because it is an epic engineering challenge. Designing an autonomous vessel of this scale - less than 2.4 meters long and capable of withstanding the worst the Atlantic has to offer, all whilst running purely on renewable energy - is a true test of our engineering ability!

If we were to be successful it would be a triumph for both renewable energy and affordable autonomous systems (compared to current commercially available systems). We would be proving that renewable energy is capable of powering systems in the worlds harshest environments. These vessels can be used to monitor climate change and weather patterns. Proving that effective autonomous systems can be affordable will help to drive their development, resulting in more vessels, more measurements and more accurate predictions.

Where will the money go?

The University of Southampton provides us with a budget, sufficient to design and build a vessel capable of testing our systems and proving the overall concept. Your money will go towards preparing our vessel for an actual transatlantic crossing, in specific:

  • Purchasing additional solar charge controllers, allowing for the implementation of multiple fully independent electronic systems
  • Installing a camera system with the aim of obtaining a time-lapse of the transatlantic crossing
  • Possible fitment of data collection systems that may record fascinating data during the Atlantic crossing
  • Obtaining a RockBlock satellite system, integral to the rules of the Microtransat Challenge
  • Purchasing our own Pixhawk computer, whilst testing could be done using an available borrowed system, our own computer is necessary for our Atlantic crossing
  • Acquiring additional waterproofing materials (superior hatches, sealant, waterproofing tape), allowing for extensive re-waterproofing before the competition
  • Fitment of items allowing us to meet safety requirements, such as navigation lights and radar deflectors.
  • Obtaining antifouling and other protective coatings necessary for the Atlantic crossing

The University has kindly offered to match fund £500 of this project, meaning that we will receive £2 for every £1 you donate.


  • Personal acknowledgement and thanks on our social media accounts and on media we produce
  • A thank you email along with updates on our progress
  • The opportunity to sign the vessel with your name
  • A postcard of our project
  • 3D printed model of the vessel

First Concept

Wondering what this vessel will look like? Here is an early concept image of what our vessel might look like

Find us here

Find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TeamPeruagus

Help us succeed!

  • You don't need to give money to help us succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support us.
  • In fact, share it with everyone you know as we think it's a great idea, and the more people who know about it, the more likely we are to make this work out brilliantly.
  • And we know we said you don't need to give money to help us, but we'd love it if you did! Please sponsor us and help make this happen.