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SmartBay Subsea Observatory Goes Live Off Galway

1st July 2016
John Breslin of SmartBay Ireland John Breslin of SmartBay Ireland Photo: Andrew Downes/xposure

#SmartBay - Launching in tandem with the Our Ocean Wealth Conference in Galway today (Friday 1 July), the SmartBay Subsea Observatory will begin feeding data from the seabed at Galway Bay to businesses, researchers, scientists and policy makers.

Supported by the Marine Institute, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland, the SmartBay Subsea Observatory is considered a key element of creating an infrastructure to support the blue economy that's critical to the success of Ireland's integrated marine plan.

Technology deployed at the observatory will be used to collect valuable data from the ocean and will be a critical component of a world-class maritime infrastructure in Ireland.

Speaking at Digital Ocean today at the Meyrick Hotel, Galway SmartBay general manager John Breslin said: "The SmartBay observatory represents the Internet of Things for the marine.

"Thanks to the extensive underwater equipment we have installed, real-time data from sensors can be accessed through the web and analysed by researchers and companies trying to commercialise novel marine technologies.

"The information from the subsea observatory will accelerate developments in the marine sector and contribute to environmental monitoring, the development of ocean energy technologies, education and research as well as maritime security. It is a hugely significant addition to Ireland¹s Digital Ocean IoT infrastructure".

In 2015, the RV Celtic Explorer was used to lay a 4km cable and a frame was installed on the seabed to which sensors and monitoring equipment were attached as part of the development of the ocean observatory.

Now for the first time, the cable will supply power to the site and allow for unlimited data transfer from the site for researchers testing new and innovative marine technologies.

"The SmartBay subsea observatory will greatly enhance our understanding of the sea, the impact of weather and climate change, and how the sea reacts in various conditions and how our man-made products will react underwater," Marine Institute chief executive Peter Heffernan.

Digital Ocean: A Pathway for Developing Ireland's Blue Economy has been is organised by the Marine Institute with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, the Irish Marine Development Office and SmartBay Ireland.

The event aims to promote Ireland's digital ocean opportunity highlighting how technology companies can drive new forms of innovation in the blue economy using Ireland as a test-bed with its significant marine resource, world-class expertise and infrastructure.

Tonight's edition of Seascapes on RTÉ Radio 1 and Afloat.ie will have more on the SmartBay project.

Published in Marine Science
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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