Team FASt

Team Name: FASt
Boat Length: 2.5m
Boat Weight: 50.0kg
Keel Length: 1.3m


FASt is a 2.5m LOA, 50 kg displacement, autonomous sailing boat designed and built at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Porto, with the help of a local kayak builder. The hull was fabricated from a sandwich of carbon fiber, honeycomb core and fiber glass, following the same industrial process to build light weight competition kayaks. The sailboat has a 1.3m deep keel made of carbon fiber with a 20 kg lead ballast bulb at the bottom to provide stability, and two twin rudders controlled by independent servo motors. The sailboat has a conventional two sail rig with a 2.6m height mast, with the front sail (gib) attached to a small boom. Both sails are controlled by the same servo motor, using a worm gearbox to save energy while blocked. Electric energy is provided by a 45 Wp solar panel, supported by two 97 Wh Li-Ion batteries. The computing system is totally integrated into a low power FPGA-based board, and includes a 32-bit microprocessor running an embedded Linux kernel (uCLinux), an 8-bit microcontroller for front-end processing of sensor data and several custom designed hardware interfaces. Navigation is based on a conventional GPS receiver, a digital tilt-compensated compass and a wind speed and direction sensor. Other sensors include water temperature, ambient light, water speed and a forward looking sonar for obstacle detection.