The DB 8000 UKMO-HX is a meteorological/oceanographic data buoy, which has now been adopted by the UK Met Office as the standard replacement platform for the old ‘K’ series ODAS buoys. It is capable of carrying a large number of sensors/equipment packages along with a large solar panel array and battery bank.
Based on the Mobilis DB 8000 data buoy platform, it comprises a 3m diameter hull constructed from multiple-section polyethylene floats that are bolted around a central steel structure, with through-hull access for underwater instrumentation and cabling.
The large marine grade aluminium towers of the DB 8000 allow its large equipment payloads to be placed in a protected location. In addition, the meteorological sensors and antennae are mounted within a strong protection ring whilst still allowing exposure to the elements that they are installed to measure. The robust design of the DB 8000 enables it to withstand some of the harshest sea conditrions in the UK and last for long periods without interim servicing.
The UKMO-HX buoy, as shown opposite, contains a meteorological sensor suite measuring wind speed and direction, air temperature, relative humidity, and barometric pressure. It also has an oceanographic sensor suite measuring sea temperature and a spectral wave sensor that outputs wave height, wave period and direction. Data is transmitted ashore using an Iridium satellite communication system.