Remote monitoring system for ocean cleaning

Seatools remote monitoring system is being put to the test as part of the first-ever ocean cleanup system Photo: Seatools Seatools remote monitoring system is being put to the test as part of the first-ever ocean cleanup system Photo: Seatools

A new remote monitoring system is being put to the test as part of the first-ever ocean cleanup system which will eventually go to work on a large-scale cleaning project in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The remote monitoring system is the brainchild of subsea technology company Seatools which completed its development, manufacturing and testing. It is currently being integrated into a cleanup system at The Ocean Cleanup’s assembly yard in Alameda, California, USA.

“We are honoured to contribute to this highly important, trail-blazing initiative. I am confident that our system will supply The Ocean Cleanup with the extensive data required to optimise its system further,” said Jan Frumau, Seatools’ managing director.

Next stage

During the upcoming trials, Seatools’ remote monitoring system plays a crucial role. Beyond performing critical functions such as navigation, the remote monitoring system provides detailed feedback on the performance of the cleanup system.

The monitoring system processes, stores, and transfers large amounts of data collected by scores of sensors. This data relates to navigation, environmental conditions, the system’s operational status, and its integrity.

Its sensors are linked to five solar-powered electronic pods which will be mounted on the barrier. The pods communicate to each other via a WiFi mesh network and satellite connection, enabling The Ocean Cleanup to monitor its system remotely and retrieve data in real time from its headquarters in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

During testing, the pods will be subject to oceanic circumstances like storms, will have to endure severe load conditions.

In the third quarter of 2018, The Ocean Cleanup’s system will be deployed into the waters between Hawaii and San Francisco.

By Anne-Marie Causer

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