The Automated Sailing Robots (ASR) concept is receiving an increasing interest among robotic researchers. Most oceanographic in situ surface measurements are currently performed via fixed buoys or passive drifting buoys. By taking advantage of the wind power an ASR will be able to conduct very long term offshore data gathering missions in virtually any place of the oceans. In this paper we describe an original prototype developed at ISAE: design, embedded systems, simulation model, performance are detailed. We eventually address the challenging problem of middle level closed loop control: rudder and sail control for course keeping. An original sail control strategy is proposed that both combine high performance and low energy consumption. The paper concludes with simulation and experimental results.

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