Low cost wave sensor from Aanderaa

The Motus wave sensor has been developed to be applicable to most buoys types both those used for navigation and those used for research The Motus wave sensor has been developed to be applicable to most buoys types both those used for navigation and those used for research

Aanderaa Data Systems is a Norwegian company that specialises in instrumentation for measuring and monitoring environmental parameters such as weather, waves and currents.

The company claims that existing wave measuring sensors are rather costly compared to the other sensors used on buoys so the company was looking for a cost effective solution.

The aim of the project was to develop a wave sensor that could measure wave height and wave direction that could be used with a variety of floats and buoys and which would provide reliable wave measurements for marine transport and similar users. By utilising the latest advances in miniaturized sensors for the consumer market coupled with advanced embedded electronics and software, the goal was to develop a new and cost effective sensor for measuring waves that could be fitted to a broad range of measuring buoys.

The Motus Wave Sensor is intended for commercial as well as research use and is a compact, low power accelerometer based sensor that is designed to accurately measure multi-spectrum directional waves from standard hydrography and navigation buoys. The sensor used in this product is an MTi-3 and it provides fast and accurate movement data by using its 9-axis sensor system. This system is divided into three groups with 3-axis gyro sensors, 3-axis accelerometers and 3-axis magnetometers as the cornerstone to measure both shorter period wind generated waves and longer swells. This range of sensors allows the device to measure a wide range of wave information including both the height and the direction of waves as well as the period.

The Motus sensor can make data available live on the Hydweb website or on customers’ own website via the company’s GeoView interface. The same internet connection also enables the engineers at Aanderaa to update the software when required and to configure the sensors remotely. Remote operation ensures that the sensor is very user and maintenance friendly.

The company sees a wide application for these low cost sensors. Marine traffic along the coast needs reliable information on weather such as wind and sea state and such measurements are often obtained using moored buoys with real-time data transmission to users on shore and at sea. The more measurements performed at one buoy the more useful and cost-effective the installation becomes and so the Motus wave sensor has been developed to be applicable to most buoys types both those used for navigation and those used for research. The company claims that in general, it is challenging to measure waves using a regular environmental measuring buoy because floating devices designed for weather measurements need to be a certain size and have corresponding moorings and their movements in the sea are not particularly well suited for measuring waves.

By Dag Pike

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