Airfoil Selection and Wingsail Design for an Autonomous Sailboat

  • Manuel F. SilvaEmail author
  • Benedita Malheiro
  • Pedro Guedes
  • Paulo Ferreira
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1092)


Ocean exploration and monitoring with autonomous platforms can provide researchers and decision makers with valuable data, trends and insights into the largest ecosystem on Earth. Regardless of the recognition of the importance of such platforms in this scenario, their design and development remains an open challenge. In particular, energy efficiency, control and robustness are major concerns with implications in terms of autonomy and sustainability. Wingsails allow autonomous boats to navigate with increased autonomy, due to lower power consumption, and greater robustness, due to simpler control. Within the scope of a project that addresses the design, development and deployment of a rigid wing autonomous sailboat to perform long term missions in the ocean, this paper summarises the general principles for airfoil selection and wingsail design in robotic sailing, and are given some insights on how these aspects influence the autonomous sailboat being developed by the authors.


Rigid wingsail Autonomous sailboat Wingsail design 



This work was partially financed by National Funds through the Portuguese funding agency, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), within project UID/EEA/50014/2019.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel F. Silva
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Benedita Malheiro
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pedro Guedes
    • 1
  • Paulo Ferreira
    • 1
  1. 1.ISEP/PPorto, School of EngineeringPolytechnic of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.INESC TECPortoPortugal

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