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JET Engineering System Solutions Ltd and Excelerate Technology Limited have teamed up to develop a system of low-profile 5G-enabled buoys that transmit real-time sea condition information to an onshore 5G network, giving scientists and the public access to sea condition monitoring data. The goal of the project taking place around the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, UK, aims to help save lives by preventing people from entering risky situations at sea. There is also potential for this technology to help tackle climate change.
Why it is Vital that We Measure Sea State Patterns?
Sea condition monitoring is important to understanding climate change and predicting sea patterns to prevent unnecessary risk to life to those who work at sea. Gathering data on sea state patterns can indicate the intensity of storms and currents. The sea state can be considered a statistical description of wave properties, such as their heights, directions, and periods. As well as contributing to our understanding of climate change, an understanding of the sea state climate is required by all ocean and coastal engineering applications.
The ocean is intrinsically connected to climate change. It plays a vital role in alleviating climate change by absorbing heat and carbon dioxide. Concerns about the detrimental and irreversible impact of climate change are currently increasing, and data to demonstrate the real effects of climate change on Earth is very valuable in advising governmental policies on the topic. Sea condition monitoring provides important information on changes to the sea’s temperature and currents, and paints a picture of how sea levels are changing. All this data is vital to understanding how sea animals and ocean ecosystems are affected by climate change.
Scientists undertake sea condition monitoring to collect data on the behavior of waves to interpret how they contribute to extreme sea levels at coastal regions and how they influence sediment transport. This data can also help to identify errors and biases in satellite measurements of sea level.
Sharing Vital Sea Condition Information to Save Lives
A revolutionary project is leveraging next-generation connectivity technology to provide real-time sea condition information with the aim of enhancing the safety and quality of life of those who live in rural coastal communities. The 5G RuralDorset project plans to protect UNESCO-designated world heritage coastline areas.
Scientists working on the research and development project, which has received £8 million in funding, will explore the potential of using 5G to address specific challenges such as economic growth, environmental, food production, and public safety.
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The team plans to deploy low-profile 5G-enabled buoys around the coast of Dorset for the duration of the project, which has been established via a collaboration between JET engineering System Solutions Ltd and Excelerate Technology Limited.
The project will continue JET Engineering System Solutions’ work towards improving multiple-sensor IoT connectivity in the maritime sector.
The low-profile 5G-enabled buoys will provide real-time sea condition information to an onshore 5G network with enhanced communication speeds and bandwidth to allow for regular, reliable updates regarding sea conditions. Each buoy in the network has a sensor pack incorporated to enable it to communicate a variety of data points in real-time, such as current strength and direction, tide height, and wave height and frequency. The data is then transferred to the onshore network where it can be manipulated and analyzed.
Via this system, real-time sea condition information is made easily accessible to users regardless of their location, making it simple for multiple scientists to access the data at any time. The data will also be made freely accessible via a published feed to the public. The result, potentially, could be a reduction in risk to life. The project aims to use this information to prevent people from being involved in unsafe situations at sea. The team also plans to use this data to help emergency services during life-saving operations.
Before these goals can be achieved, trials will run to prove the capabilities of the hardware that has been developed. The project will run at different locations in Dorset, with connected digital signage being installed at locations of high foot traffic around the Jurassic Coast. Beginning in March 2020, the project will run for two years until March 2022.
It is hoped that the technology will be fundamental to making coastal areas safer and helping to save lives. If successful, the project would act as an example of how government-backed trials using innovative, novel solutions can resolve age-old problems. This kind of data collection also has the potential to aid in tackling climate change.
References and Further Reading
Ardhuin, F., Stopa, J., Chapron, B., Collard, F., Husson, R., Jensen, R., Johannessen, J., Mouche, A., Passaro, M., Quartly, G., Swail, V. and Young, I., 2019. Observing Sea States. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00124/full
Ocean and Climate Change. The Ocean Foundation. Available at: https://oceanfdn.org/ocean-and-climate-change/
Surf Condition Monitoring Buoys. 5G Rural Dorset. Available at: https://5gruraldorset.org/projects/connected-coast/use-cases/
5G Surf Condition Monitoring System to be deployed in Dorset. James Pryce. 5G Rural Dorset. Available at: https://5gruraldorset.org/2020/12/02/5g-surf-condition-monitoring-system-to-be-deployed-in-dorset/