NOAA buys new Bay Monitor buoy to augment Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS)
(December 2012) The recently delivered Bay Monitor is solar powered and records and transmits weather and water quality data. SOSI collaborated with oceanographer Doug Wilson of NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Office in developing a new prototype buoy for Chesapeake Bay that delivers high quality real-time environmental science data and lowers the cost of deployment, service and maintenance.
The buoy disassembles with four bolts into three portable components, allowing easy transport, storage and maintenance. It can be re-assembled on a beach, launch ramp, or dock and towed to a pre-existing mooring by a small boat.
The dedicated instrument suite provides the highest initial accuracy and long-term stability, requiring only 3-4 service visits to the buoy per year. Technicians can service the buoy from a small boat without lifting capability, and access all sensors without diving or pulling the mooring.
A unique new buoy controller manages data acquisition, transmission and power monitoring. The GPS, compass, accelerometer and quad-band GSM cellular modem are integrated in a smart “Com/Nav” module interfaced to the controller through one serial port (Iridium or RF telemetry optionally available). The Com/Nav transmits data from the buoy controller through a TCP-IP connection to server software running on a PC and provides a terminal connection between the server software, the buoy controller, and all connected serial instruments. It accepts commands by SMS text message, and sends SMS text alarms if data are not received from the buoy controller on schedule or the buoy moves outside its watch circle.