Jaia Robotics, a company specializing in low-cost, micro-sized aquatic drones called JaiaBots, has been awarded a Phase I grant from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program in the amount of $174,948 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The project, titled “Energy Transfer Measurements in the Marine-Air Boundary Layer Using Micro-Sized UxVs,” aims to develop these drones for data collection both on the surface and in sub-surface areas of the ocean.

In collaboration with Nautilus Defense, led by Jim Owens and his team, Jaia Robotics will develop an instrumented parachute designed to support the launch of the JaiaBots from a P-3 sonobuoy tube. This will enable the collection of atmospheric data. Once deployed, the JaiaBots will detach from the parachute and begin collecting various types of data on both the sea surface and sub-surface areas.

The data collected on the sea surface will include measurements of temperature, salinity, current vectors, wave heights, and periodicity. The sub-surface data will consist of 100-meter profile dives, as well as measurements of sub-surface temperature, salinity, and current vectors.

Jaia Robotics is thrilled to have been selected as one of the 30 projects to receive funding from Phase I of the SBIR this year. The company plans to demonstrate the feasibility of the project and apply for Phase II funding in early 2024. This support from NOAA will allow Jaia Robotics to further enhance the endurance of its vehicles, enabling data collection in a wider range of environments.

The strategy of deploying multiple sensors over a study area to collect synoptic data above and below the surface has the potential to revolutionize the field of research. This approach ensures real-time and comprehensive understanding of environmental changes occurring throughout the observed volume of the ocean. The low cost per JaiaBot makes this an affordable reality, paving the way for more extensive and in-depth studies.

– NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
– Nautilus Defense
– Jaia Robotics