Estimation of Wave Characteristics Based on Global Navigation Satellite System Data Installed on Board Sailboats

Sensors (Basel). 2019 May 17;19(10):2295. doi: 10.3390/s19102295.


This paper illustrates a methodology to get a reliable estimation of the local wave properties, based on the reconstruction of the motion of a moving sailboat by means of GNSS receivers installed on board and an original kinematic positioning approach. The wave parameters reconstruction may be used for many useful practical purposes, e.g. to improve of autopilots, for real-time control systems of ships, to analyze and improve the performance of race sailboats, and to estimate the local properties of the waves. A Class 40 oceanic vessel (ECO40) left from the port of "Riva di Traiano" located close to Rome (Italy) on 19 October 2014 to perform a non-stop sailing alone around the world in energy and food self-sufficiency. The proposed system was installed on ECO40 and the proposed method was applied to estimate the wave properties during a storm in the Western Mediterranean Sea. The results compared against two sets of hindcast data and wave buoy records demonstrated the reliability of the method.

Keywords: GPS data analysis; off-shore wave climate; sailboat; ship motions; wave characteristics.