From weather forecasting and fishing to research and offshore site development, data buoys are utilised for endless applications — using sensors to automatically measure and transmit information and communicating in real time via satellite telecommunication systems. 

Whether you are starting the construction of an offshore renewable energy site or heading up an aquaculture farm, data buoys are crucial for your project. But choosing the most suitable option is no small feat.  

Luckily, Hydrosphere is here to help with a wide variety of world-leading data buoy solutions. Discover the uses of advanced data buoy technology and the robust and reliable maritime equipment that can support your needs… 

Revolutionising marine asset monitoring

HydroWatch is our new cutting-edge monitoring unit that provides real-time data from instrumentation and aids to navigation assets.

Since HydroWatch’s compact size allows it to be fitted within existing equipment enclosures or boxed as a standalone unit — compatible with many existing sensors and marine devices — it is a versatile and affordable solution for operators.  

From water temperatures and atmospheric pressure to sea state observations like currents, real-time data monitoring enables mariners to analyse trends and identify anomalies at sea. This critical data allows for more informed decision-making on vessel dispatch and route optimisation, reduces safety risks for maintenance crews and improves planning and efficiency for offshore site workers and transfer operations. 

HydroData serves as a cloud-based monitoring portal for the HydroWatch unit. It offers a centralised platform to easily track and manage marine assets that may be dispersed across multiple locations or set in remote environments.  

Once HydroWatch has sent its data to the web portal, control messages are securely sent back to the unit to inform users. Thanks to our HydroData web portal, the HydroWatch unit puts users in total portal control — enhancing marine asset management and overall business performance.  

Opportunities for ocean data 

Data buoy solutions such as the AquaNode are also improving the accessibility of ocean data, helping to update ocean models and informing research on areas such as aquaculture, autonomous shipping, and underwater robotics.

The AquaNode is a low-cost, lightweight data buoy with several attractive features that make it suitable for use across a range of applications — including offshore oil and gas sites, wind farms, ports and harbours and aquaculture sites. 

Through this sensor solution, users can view wave data in near real-time, set alerts and create automated messages. The platform provides users with a complete and versatile system for capturing and analysing wave data, enabling anyone working on the water to incorporate the conditions into their everyday risk assessments. 

The AquaNode sensor can be retrofitted to new or existing buoy platforms — providing wave-sensing functionality with minimal impact on the power resource budget available on the platform due to the sensor’s low power consumption rate.  

Data-driven solutions for healthier waters 

Data buoys are deployed in locations all over the world to collect information about the impact of climate change on environmental variables.  

Instrumentation onboard data buoys can record and transmit details about surface and sub-surface water temperatures, atmospheric pressure and wave patterns to shore and monitor marine life. Researchers can also observe the impact of plastic pollution on plankton, which plays an essential role in absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. 

Plus, data collection plays a crucial role in facilitating maritime climate action. For example, The Ocean Cleanup’s ‘System 002’ was used to clear 282,787 kilograms of debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The system collects data from the surrounding environment to inform computational models and predict where circulating currents will cause plastic waste hotspots to form, allowing cleanup teams to identify the best place to begin their extractions. 

The perfect solution for data collection is the DB 24000, which Hydrosphere and Mobilis SA deployed to join SINTEF’s floating marine laboratory in Norway in 2021. It features a ‘smart’ winch to remotely lower cages full of sensors up to 50 metres deep and take measurements contributing to ocean health research.  

Hydrosphere also deployed the DB 1400 model for SINTEF’s project — which has an impressive array of sensors on board that can perform various functions. Particle imaging, acoustic communications and a ‘plug-and-play’ interface for custom sensors offer climate researchers endless possibilities, from measuring the plastic or gas content of the water to capturing images as imperceivable to the human eye as phytoplankton. 

 Sending in the experts  

There are several considerations for designing a data buoy based on the unique conditions of each project — such as the harsh and corrosive marine environment, which can limit a buoy’s lifespan, leading to high deployment and maintenance costs. 

Plus, each platform must accommodate the equipment it will carry and its required power supply without compromising buoyancy. 

That is where Hydrosphere comes in… 

For over 18 years, Hydrosphere and Mobilis have been designing, manufacturing and supplying data buoy platforms to oil and gas companies, survey organisations, research institutes and universities across the UK and worldwide.  

Mobilis data buoy platforms range five basic models, from a 3 metre to 1.2 metre hull diameter. Hydrosphere provides a range of towers manufactured from marine-grade aluminium — ideal against ocean environments — and can be fitted with battery housings and solar panels for compact power functions. 

Thanks to the modular design of Mobilis data buoys, they can be tailored to meet specific customer requirements, with work carried out on components individually during assembly. The result? A range of robust and flexible platforms that can be utilised across a variety of applications — whilst remaining easy to handle and transport. 

Ready to discover our range of premium data buoys and how they can benefit your maritime operations? Get in touch with our team at 01420 520374 or email to discuss your requirements and receive our expert advice today.