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Smart Buoy concept for real time monitoring of marine environment

Organisation: SeaHow (Meritaito Ltd)

Time: 1/1/2013 – 12/31/2013



SeaHow has developed a new Smart Buoy concept which combines the robust structure of a polyethylene spar buoy and versatile combination of monitoring sensors with mobile communication technology. Oceanographic data is essential for safe navigation and for protection of sensitive marine environment. Network of Smart Buoys can provide intelligent solutions for many purposes.

SeaHow will build up a pilot network based on the SmartBuoy concept. The pilot network is part of the Network Monitoring (NeMo) project, where SeaHow is the leading partner. SmartBuoys will be instrumented with sensors that monitor blue algae, turbidity, salinity, water temperature, current, wave height, water level. Data will be transmitted in-real time to web-server from where it will be delivered to our partners (see below).

The objective of the project is to study the feasibility of the SmartBuoy concept. During the NeMo-project our partners will have the possibility to study
1) reliability of the data
2) ways to utilize the data
3) interface to distribute the data.
As result of the project the final report (“Proof of Concept”) will be presented.

The NeMo-project is implemented together with the Finnish Transport Agency, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the Finnish Environmental Institute, the Coast Guard, Finnpilot Pilotage Ltd and Luode consulting under the supervision of the Ministry of Transport and Communication.

SeaHow will manufacture SmartBuoys, instrument them with sensors and deploy the SmartBuoys in the Gulf of Finland. SeaHow will also maintain the network. Before this Transport Agency will approach certain group of ports, port operators and ship owners in order to find out the maritime needs for more local and real-time oceanographic information.

Sensors and instrumentation of each buoy will be done according the needs specified by the project team. That icludes evaluation of 1) what to monitor 2) where to monitor 3) interface of the data distribution and 4) the partner responsible for evaluating of the data.

The final report will be presented at the end of the year. In the report each project partner will present their 1) analysis 2) conclusions and 3) recommendations for future actions based on the observations during the project.

SeaHow has manufactured polyethylene spar buoys since 1976. The buoys consist of a through-colored highly durable extruded polyethylene tube structure that withstands the most demanding weather conditions. The Finnish Transport Agency has over 20000 units of polyethylene spar buoys. SeaHow has manufactured them all and maintains most of them.

SeaHow Ltd was founded in 2010 after the reorganization of the Finnish Maritime Administration. About 240 employees, significant amount of equipment, vessels and real estates were transferred to a new, 100% state owned company. Turnover in 2012 was 30 M€.

Today SeaHow provides ISO 9001 and 14001 quality services in maintenance of fairways and navigational aids, operations and maintenance of fairway locks, oil response services, marine and civil construction, fairway planning and civil engineering, hydrographic surveys and underwater investigations.

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