NIAP Exercise Schematic
wave

Options for Expanding the Working Footprint of a Deep Sea Cabled Observatory Node

This project incorporated the build and development of three low cost sensor packages, namely a Lagrangian Waverider, Condition Monitoring System and a Communications Cabinet with a configurable gateway. The Communications Cabinet formed a gateway on the Smartbay surface buoy at the Spiddal quarter scale Ocean Energy test site, effectively demonstrating the expansion of the working footprint of one of the science ports on the sub-sea observatory. This cabled link availed of the Ethernet Communications and Power provided by the observatory. The purpose of this connection was to Simulate a Deep Sea Cabled Observatory node for Research, Design and Experimentation purposes.
Item: 1 of 8 Cable Deployment 11th January 2018
Item: 2 of 8 Diver during Cable Deployment, 11th January 2018
Item: 3 of 8 Lagrangian Waverider exercise on the Test Site
Item: 4 of 8 Assembly of the Smartbay buoy
Item: 5 of 8 Assembly of the Smartbay buoy
Item: 6 of 8 Lagrangian Waverider in proximity to Smartbay buoy
Item: 7 of 8 Gear test at MI Lough Furnace
Item: 8 of 8 Gear test at MI Lough Furnace
Cable Deployment 11th January 2018
Diver during Cable Deployment, 11th January 2018
Lagrangian Waverider exercise on the Test Site
Assembly of the Smartbay buoy
Assembly of the Smartbay buoy
Lagrangian Waverider in proximity to Smartbay buoy
Gear test at MI Lough Furnace
Gear test at MI Lough Furnace

This body of research aimed to develop leading edge technologies for routine, low cost ocean observation; targeting extension of these capabilities to remote buoyed observatories and offshore platforms.  Two key relevant issues have been identified, namely telemetry and power. 

The seabed cabled node - surface buoy interconnector incorporated a smart networked Communications Cabinet with a configurable gateway.   This unit controlled and monitored the expansion of the working footprint of one of the science ports on the sub-sea observatory through remote internet access.  The adjacent working platforms communicated with the parent buoy through RF links.
 

The purpose of the Condition Monitoring System was to remotely monitor the condition of solar power generators in relation to output and performance.  It was deployed on an adjacent acoustics buoy, located some 2.3 Km from the seabed linked platform.  It transmitted GPS positon and time stamped images, as well as Infra-Red images ashore by radio/cable link. This enabled remotely gathered information on solar panel condition to be assessed, in conjunction with the information obtained by monitoring the energy production.  The combined information can be used to facilitate remote troubleshooting, highlight potential problems and identify the need for service/recovery, therefore reducing cost and down-time. 


The Lagrangian Waverider is programmed to feed wave data ashore to be spectrally analysed, and consequently to a wave filter in a Remotely Operated Vehicle’s (ROV’s) control system.  This data helps to reduce thruster wear and power consumption during ROV mission execution.  The data obtained by the Waverider will also be used to model the potential output from small experimental motion generators.

 

The Waverider and Condition Monitoring system were developed to demonstrate the effective expansion of the footprint of the cabled observatory node, however, they were also developed to provide the key data-set to describe and quantify the power and telecoms demands of a typical deep