System 001

The world's first ocean cleanup system

Launched on September 8, 2018 from San Francisco, System 001 intends to prove the concept of The Ocean Cleanup's technology in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the world's largest accumulation zone of ocean plastics - situated halfway between Hawaii and California.

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System 001 CAM — Taken: unknown

System 001 Timeline

Follow the journey of System 001 from procurement to launch, and stay informed on the latest updates.

  1. We confirmed the final order for the first full length floater, officially kicking off the procurement phase.

    Procurement is a challenge of its own considering the scale of our system and the tight planning we're committed to follow. Finding the right suppliers, running quality checks and negotiating prices usually takes months.

    Read full update
  2. November (2017)

  3. The floater of the first ocean cleanup system is in production. The floater is the part of the system that is responsible for catching surface plastic and keep the system afloat. Once completed it will be 600 meters in length, and have a diameter of 1.2 meters.

    Other system components will follow over the next few months and will be transported to our assembly line in San Francisco.

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  4. All 51 sections of the first ocean cleanup system’s floater are now out of the manufacturing plant.

    After final handling, they will be sent out to the assembly site in California.

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  5. "Preparing for the cleanup, next few weeks will mostly be spent on the finishing touches of the design. Final material choices, detailing connections, configuring the electrical instrumentation. Can’t wait to see it all come together."

    via @boyanslat

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  6. January

  7. The engineering team ran scale model tests to determine whether we should ballast the screen with a continuous ballast chain or use discrete ballast elements.

    The test results will provide the team with important information for the final screen design.

  8. Floater elements of the cleanup system #1 are now in transit to California.

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  9. February

  10. The engineering team is nearing final design of the first cleanup system electronics. Multiple electronic “pods" will be assembled to the floater.

    Their solar panels will power everything from navigation lights and AIS to monitoring sensors and cameras.

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  11. "We are excited to announce that Alameda will be home to @TheOceanCleanup’s first cleanup system. This passive drifting system is set to begin cleaning plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch this summer. It's time for the largest cleanup in history. #loveourisland #alamtg"

    via @CityofAlameda

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  12. Together with the City of Alameda, we signed a lease agreement for portions of the former Alameda Naval Air Station, a peninsula now known as Alameda Point.

    Located on San Francisco Bay, this is the site where assembly of the first cleanup system will begin within the next month.

    Read full update
  13. A new ocean cleanup prototype is being deployed on the North Sea today. It is one of the last steps as we prepare to launch the first cleanup system in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch this summer.

    To understand how we arrived at this point, here is a brief history of the North Sea prototypes, and the reasons why we're deploying another one.

    Read full update
  14. "Welcoming name suggestions for Cleanup System #1. Hope we can do a better job this time than we did with the prototypes"

    via @boyanslat

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  15. March

  16. The final design of the system's towhead is confirmed.

    The data gathered during the tow-test on the North Sea Prototype a week ago gave the engineers enough confidence to move ahead with this key component of the system.

  17. The first parts have safely arrived at our Alameda Yard.

    We expect to commence the assembly of cleanup system #1 next week.

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  18. We caught up with our Project Engineer on the Assembly Yard in Alameda just before the first components of cleanup system #1 arrived on site.

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  19. The screen production for the first cleanup system is well underway.

    The first batch of 120 meters has left our manufacturing site and is now in transit to the Assembly yard.

  20. April

  21. The crew has succesfully completed the first weld of two floater sections, officially marking the beginning of the assembly.

    In total, 51 of these sections will be put together. At the 120-meter mark, we will take the system out for a tow-test.

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  22. The assembly of the first cleanup system made great progress over the last few days.

    The completion of the first 120-meter section for the upcoming tow-test is now in sight.

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  23. Having completed all welds for the 120-meter test section, the assembly crew has now moved into the screen assembly phase.

    The tow-test is scheduled to occur within the next two weeks, weather permitting.

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  24. May

  25. An update on our recent scale model tests, the most advanced we have conducted so far.

    Our preliminary conclusions from the tests are that the motions and forces are in the range of what we expected based on our numerical modeling.

    Read full update
  26. As the tow test of the 120-meter unit approaches, Boyan summarizes what is left to accomplish before we launch the first cleanup system into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch later this summer.

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  27. Just before we put the 120-meter section into the water for the tow test, here’s a recap of the work accomplished on the assembly yard for the first cleanup system.

    Read full update
  28. The 120-meter tow test unit is now completely lowered into the lagoon, where it will receive full inspection and final checks before departure.

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  29. Our tow test has left Alameda and is on its way to the Pacific Ocean.

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  30. We have successfully initiated our 120-meter tow test unit towards its designated test pattern approximately 50 nautical miles outside of San Francisco’s Golden Gate.

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  31. Checking progress on the assembly of the first cleanup system’s electronic components.

    The system will rely on the sun to power everything from AIS, satellite communications, cameras and sensors.

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  32. "Meanwhile on the Pacific Ocean, the tow test is plowing through 10-15ft waves..."

    via @boyanslat

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  33. The team is taking advantage of a calm weather window to inspect the 120-meter test section.

    They just reported that the system came out of last week's rough testing conditions without significant issues.

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  34. June

  35. The offshore crew made it back into the San Francisco Bay after more than two weeks testing the 120-meter unit in towing configuration.

    Test results will be shared as we process them.

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  36. This clip we received from the assembly yard could make you think the crew lost their mind...

    ... but the reason they just cut the 120-meter tow test unit in half is to move ahead with the assembly of the full 600-meter system.

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  37. With the tow test successfully completed, the yard crew received the green light to continue the assembly.

    The test piece has now been cut in half, allowing us to put the remaining sections in between in the coming weeks.

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  38. "The Ocean Cleanup assembly yard from above. The black sub-assemblies are each 8% of the total length of the cleanup system. The white box is the welding station."

    via @boyanslat

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  39. July

  40. The recently completed tow test was a crucial milestone on the road to the deployment of the world’s first ocean cleanup system.

    The performance of the tow test unit left the team feeling more confident with this current design iteration and has exemplified that the system is ready for the challenge it is set to face in the Pacific.

    Read full update
  41. The crew has started the painting process.

    This includes both functional markings, as well as logos and the soon-to-be-revealed name of the system.

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  42. "First stabilizer frames (preventing system from rolling over) have arrived at the yard and will be attached to the main floater tomorrow."

    via @boyanslat

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  43. The world's first ocean cleanup system is Dutch.

    Tomorrow, we'll be sharing its name.

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  44. August

  45. The crew has started lowering the system into the lagoon. This operation will progress in sync with the skirt assembly.

    Once completed, we will proceed with the installation of stabilizers and electronics.

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  46. In Rotterdam, the research team is gearing up for a thorough data collection expedition, which will be running during the System 001 deployment.

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  47. The system 001 assembly just passed the halfway mark.

    A few numbers to put this in perspective: 353.03 meters of floater have been welded, 204 meters of skirt is now attached below it, 1632 bolts have been tightened to connect the two.

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  48. These empty containers just arrived at the yard. They will be loaded on our deployment and support vessel, the Maersk Launcher.

    If all goes according to plan, they will soon come back filled with the first plastic collected by System 001.

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  49. We are currently assembling the stabilizers of the cleanup system. As the name indicates, their purpose is to provide stability to the system and prevent it from rotating. In total, ten of these stabilizers will be attached to the system, consisting of either single or double floaters.

    Note that on this aerial shot, we can clearly see how the floater absorbs the energy of the wind waves, which is the main driving force behind the cleanup system.

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  50. First footage of our full-scale cleanup system.

    Assembly of final components to be completed next week.

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  51. With the system now fully launched in the lagoon, the assembly crew has moved on to assembling the last stabilizers and solar-powered electronics.

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  52. September

  53. After six months of assembly, we can now announce that System 001 is officially complete.

    After six months of assembly, we can now announce that System 001 is officially complete. It is currently positioned entirely in the Seaplane Lagoon – the sheltered body of water adjacent our assembly yard in Alameda. The cleanup system will make tow with the Maersk Launcher at Anchorage 9 on September 7th, the morning before the launch.

    Read full update
  54. Now fully assembled, System 001 is waiting for its ride to the Pacific next Saturday.

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  55. The Ocean Cleanup launched the world’s first cleanup system on September 8, from San Francisco Bay. Re-watch the launch.

    Replay
  56. Meet MegaMaid, our our auxiliary vessel that will be assisting the plastic collection operations.

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  57. As we're approaching the test site, the crew is preparing the closing lines to lock the system in operational configuration.

    At this point, the wind and waves will have helped the system form its U-shape.

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  58. One of our crew members in action during the first successful installation of the closing lines.

    Made with Dyneema®, these four lines connect to a central quad plate and help the system maintain its U-shape in any condition.

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  59. Clear blue skies and calm waters, perfect conditions to perform the first installation of System 001 at the test site.

    The Pacific Trial phase has begun.

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  60. Following the successful launch from the San Francisco Bay, System 001 traveled 350 nautical miles to commence the Pacific Trials.

    The trials will last approximately two weeks and are a crucial step before we take System 001 the remaining 1000 nautical miles to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

    Read full update
  61. Timelapse drone shot of System 001 during one of the re-orientation tests.

    If it performs well for the remaining tests, we will have another checklist item completed.

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  62. Unfavorable weather over the last couple days prevented the offshore crew from running new tests.

    Priority was given to daily system inspections as well as deploying our autonomous environmental monitoring drone ship.

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  63. 14 days since the Pacific Trials began.

    While the test plan is a little behind schedule, the engineering team has not yet seen any unexpected issues and aims to conduct the final tests this weekend.

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  64. October

  65. An important meeting is happening right now at The Ocean Cleanup HQ in Rotterdam...

    The GO/ NO GO decision will shortly be made on whether to complete trials and head to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

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  66. "System 001 is back in towing config and is on it's way to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch right now"

    via @boyanslat

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  67. The Go/No-Go meeting held earlier this week was the last chance for the team to bring concerns and issues to the table.

    After two hours of evaluation and discussion, it was concluded that System 001 shall continue to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

    Read full update
  68. 430 nautical miles to go; System 001 is expected to reach the Great Pacific Garbage Patch deployment site by the end of the week.

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  69. 50 nautical miles to go.

    We are almost at the deployment location in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch at 143.83°W, 30.89°N. Roughly 50 nautical miles to go.

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  70. Installation successfully completed. Thank you to the offshore crew for your work. We are ready to start the cleanup.

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  71. Cleanup Commences: System 001 has Arrived

    This week, we deployed System 001 in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. In the upcoming months, we are hoping to confirm its plastic capturing efficiency and survivability; thus proving our technology.

    Read full update
  72. Recap of System 001's trials and deployment

    Watch a recap of System 001’s trials and deployment. Project Manager Henk van Dalen explains the recent progress and steps forward.

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  73. "First plastic. It will still take a few weeks before real conclusions can be drawn, but some early observations:
    + very small pieces seem to get caught too
    + no interactions with marine life observed
    - plastic occasionally leaves system again. Now analysing behavior data to understand why"

    via @boyanslat

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  74. Maersk Launcher left Wilson, soon to be relieved by slightly smaller Maersk Transporter to continue monitoring and plastic collection in the coming months.

    We would like to thank the 30-person crew on board and Maersk, Maersk Supply Service and DeepGreen for making this first shift successful.

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  75. November

  76. The second shift crew is approaching System 001 in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch after a brief transition period between vessels.

    While the first shift focused on installation, evaluating performance and troubleshooting now take priority. First results and observations coming soon.

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  77. Wilson Update - Tweaking the System

    It has been four weeks since we deployed System 001 in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. In this time, we have observed that plastic is exiting the system once it is collected, so we are currently working on causes and solutions to remedy this.

    Read full update
  78. While making adjustments to our cleanup system, the crew took the opportunity to recover this large ghostnet drifting by.

    Note: ghostnets account for 46% of the total mass of plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

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  79. December

  80. The closing line extension did not effectively increase the span of the system and, therefore, the speed did not improve.

    Further approaches to widen the u-shape are being evaluated and tested by the team.

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  81. Shift 3 crew just left port, carrying new equipment to further investigate the cleanup system’s behavior and make adjustments.

    After 6 weeks out at sea, our Shift 2 offshore crew completed its monitoring, data collection and research mission. Shift 3 crew just left port, carrying new equipment to further investigate the cleanup system’s behavior and make adjustments. Detailed update coming up next week.

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  82. Shift 3 has recently arrived at the System 001 location in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), where a series of tests will be conducted to help us understand why Wilson is not retaining plastic.

    Through this, we hope to learn as much as we can to be able to apply tactical solutions on Shift 4 (departing in five weeks).

    Read full update
  83. Now

  84. COMING UP

    Bringing first plastic ashore

An introduction by Boyan Slat

After 273 scale model tests, six at-sea prototypes, a comprehensive mapping of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch with 30 vessels and an airplane, and several technology iterations, we are now ready to put the world’s first ocean cleanup system to the test.

How it works

Our system takes advantage of natural oceanic forces to catch and concentrate plastic

Learn more