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Saildrone Develops Ocean Data Products With Siemens Xcelerator as a Service

Xcelerator enables Saildrone to easily integrate mechanical and electronic design information

Published: Monday, April 25, 2022 - 10:59

(Siemens Digital Industries Software: Plano, TX) -- Saildrone, a California-based company that designs, manufactures, and operates a fleet of uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs), has adopted Siemens Xcelerator portfolio, including cloud-enabled Xcelerator as a Service solution, enabling it to innovate faster and more collaboratively across the entire organization without the burden of a traditional IT infrastructure.

Saildrone has adopted the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio, including NX software for 3D product engineering and Teamcenter X for product lifecycle management (PLM), for product design, engineering, and manufacturing. The interoperability offered by Siemens Xcelerator enables Saildrone to easily integrate mechanical and electronic design information. In addition to helping manage product engineering complexity, Saildrone has used Teamcenter X to improve data and collaboration between disciplines. Teamcenter X leverages the cloud to provide accessible, flexible, and scalable access to the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio to help make digital transformation happen faster.

“Our products have become more complex and managing that has necessitated having better 3D CAD and PLM,” says Andrew Schultz, chief technology officer at Saildrone. “Our primary focus is engineering—building new products, making our drones and our mission services better—not having to manage and update an on-premise server. We decided to adopt Siemens’ Xcelerator as a Service solutions because we’re a cloud-first company. With a lightweight IT and dev-ops team, Siemens’ expertise and its Teamcenter X infrastructure scales well with our company. It’s been great having the bulk of the Teamcenter X configuration just set up out of the box.”


Saildrone uses Siemens Xcelerator to build the next generation of ocean drones. Saildrones are wind- and solar-powered autonomous surface vehicles that make cost-effective ocean data collection possible at scale.

Saildrone provides comprehensive turnkey data solutions for maritime security, ocean mapping, and ocean data. Its fleet of wind- and solar-powered autonomous surface vehicles makes cost-effective ocean data collection possible at scale. Operating as a mission or data as a service business, Saildrone asks its customers what data they need, from where, and the time frame for the collection process. Data are delivered in real time to government and private customers around the globe.

Most impressively, Saildrone USVs do all of this work with a minimal environmental impact, both in terms of how they are powered and their interaction with the environment (using passive acoustics for mapping, for example). The Saildrone wing technology enables a mission duration of up to 12 months, without the need to return to land for maintenance or refueling. Saildrone USVs travel at an average speed between two to six knots under wind power, can reach most ocean locations within 30 days from the closest shore, and cover large survey areas. Whether it’s collecting map data of the seabed for a new offshore windfarm, avoiding an unmapped canyon or a coral field, security and maritime domain awareness, or looking for illegal fishing or drug running, Saildrone puts more eyes and ears in the ocean.

“We chose Teamcenter X because it’s very important to have a single source of truth for engineering, especially being a small startup, we really wanted to have an industry-respected solution that large companies and small companies rely on,” says Schultz. “We have had great success getting adoption and use throughout the company. Manufacturing uses it for purchasing and building components for our drones. Our finance and G&A teams also use it to track inventory. Having Teamcenter X integrate with our other backend systems has been really important.”

“Saildrone’s adoption of Xcelerator as a Service demonstrates how Siemens is bringing the benefits of the world’s most comprehensive digital twin to a much wider audience than has historically been possible,” says Brenda Discher, senior vice president of strategy and marketing at Siemens Digital Industries Software. “Pioneers need an industrial-grade, leading-edge platform to achieve their goals and explore the boundaries of innovation, autonomy, and sustainability, and we are delivering in an accessible, open, and flexible manner.”

About Siemens Digital Industries Software

Siemens Digital Industries Software is driving transformation to enable a digital enterprise where engineering, manufacturing, and electronics design meet tomorrow. The Xcelerator portfolio helps companies of all sizes create and leverage digital twins that provide organizations with new insights, opportunities, and levels of automation to drive innovation. For more information on Siemens Digital Industries Software products and services, visit siemens.com/software or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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