Smartbay Subsea Observatory off Galway comes online

The SmartBay Subsea Observatory will begin feeding data today from the seabed for researchers, businesses, scientists and policy makers in the marine sector.

Smartbay Subsea Observatory will be officially activated today at Our Ocean Wealth Conference taking place in Galway.

The Observatory will be used to collect valuable data from the ocean and will be a critical component of a world-class maritime infrastructure in Ireland, according to Marine Institute.

Speaking at Digital Ocean event yesterday, Galway SmartBay General Manager, John Breslin, said: “The SmartBay observatory represents the Internet of Things for the marine. Thanks to the extensive underwater equipment we have installed, real-time data from sensors can be accessed through the web and analysed by researchers and companies trying to commercialise novel marine technologies.

“The information from the subsea observatory will accelerate developments in the marine sector and contribute to environmental monitoring, the development of ocean energy technologies, education and research as well as maritime security.”

In 2015, the RV Celtic Explorer was used to lay a 4 km cable and a frame was installed on the seabed to which sensors and monitoring equipment were attached as part of the development of the ocean observatory.

Now for the first time, the cable will supply power to the site and allow for unlimited data transfer from the site for researchers testing new and innovative marine technologies, Marine Institute informed.

Elena Martines from Science Foundation Ireland added: “The sensors and devices that can be run on this test facility will be able to conduct live-real-time analysis of ocean energy devices, environmental monitoring, aquaculture and fisheries, and shipping. The test facility means that we can provide what is called “decision support” to industry on a whole range of practical devices.”

Smartbay Subsea Observatory is supported by the Marine Institute, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland.

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