Boaters on Lake Superior are being asked to keep an eye out for drone watercraft.
Two surface vehicles called “Saildrones” are being deployed to study fish populations in the western and central areas of the lake. They’ll be launched in Ashland, Wisconsin, today.
The Saildrones will follow routes that take them from Duluth to the Keweenaw Peninsula, and north to Thunder Bay. Focus areas will include the waters off Ontonagon, and the Upper Entrance to the Portage Shipping Canal.
The company that operates them is asking boaters to maintain at least a 500-foot distance, to ensure the reliability of the data they gather.
The units look like a sailboard, with an orange sail set in the middle.
They will be operating on Lake Superior until the end of September.