Most of the team has headed back to their respective colleges to complete their Fall semester. With this change, Scout progress takes on a new form. During the past few weeks of summer it became increasingly clear that it would be imprudent to launch Scout in the summer of 2012. This was not an easy decision for any of the team, as we were all looking forward to Scout making its way across the Atlantic over the coming months. This decision was made for two significant reasons.
The first is the decline in sunlight and the deterioration of the weather over the Fall months. Calculations showed approximately 30% less power would be available to Scout over the entire journey. After having worked so hard to make Scout as efficient as possible, a 30% decrease in the power supply would be unacceptable.
The delay in the launch will also allow more effective testing and refinement of all systems. While Scout effectively moves under its own power and navigates autonomously as of now, extensive testing still needs to be done. The reason for the delay comes down to allowing the team to give Scout the best chance possible to be successful in its epic voyage.
In the coming months, we will continue our in water testing, electronics evaluation and reconfiguration, as well as promoting interest in our project. We’re hoping to shift the focus and reach out to different media outlets in order to develop possible applications for a platform such as Scout. While we have not spent much time in this area, we believe there are applications in environmental, government, and commercial sectors.
We’ll continue to update the website as progress is made, and we look forward to the launch of Scout in early Summer of 2013.