Smart Buoy - more than a Navigational Aid
For years, SeaHow has promoted the use of smart technology in navigational aids. The development of digital technology has enabled equipping floating marine navigational aids with various measuring instruments and mobile data transmission capabilities. The robust and durable extruded polyethylene pipe body of the buoy provides an extremely strong casing for all integrated devices.
SeaHow’s smart buoy concept has been tested and its functionality proven at various sites. Regardless of the fact that there are approximately 5,000 luminated buoys in Finland’s marine waters, an open smart buoy network similar to that of Estonia or Sweden has not yet been implemented even though only a part of the existing buoys would have to be modified to enable the use of smart technology.
The key idea of the smart buoy concept is to utilize the current marine buoy infrastructure so that buoys can be integrated with measuring instruments owned by various parties to produce data that can be filtered or distributed to numerous operators. As the service and maintenance of buoys is regulated by law, the additional maintenance required by smart technology would be marginal.
Smart technology creates novel opportunities for environmental monitoring
Real-time measurements are a significant advancement in marine water monitoring. Smart buoys have been utilized in, for example, water quality measurements, dredging, turbidity measurements as well as algal pigment, salinity, temperature and oxygen content measurements.
Smart buoys can also be equipped with sensors that provide real-time information on oil content in the water (oil spills) or the sulfur content (SOx) of ship exhausts. If the network formed by smart buoys was implemented, it would enable 24/7 situational monitoring, making the duties of the responsible authorities significantly easier.