#VOR – Up to the minute information on the progress of the 39,000 mileVolvo Ocean Race – headed for Galway in three weeks time – will be "tweeted" from a high tech "Twitter Buoy" which will "go live" in Galway Bay today (Thursday).
The Galway'Twitter' Buoy will be launched by the Irish Lights Vessel "Granuaile" at alocation close to Mutton Island and will transmit a constant flow of data on the race, the weather conditions being experienced by the sailors and other ocean and meteorological data.
The 'round the world / 'round the clock' transmissions from the buoy will link the race to the140 million active users of the "Twitter" social media network across the globe.
The Galway 'Twitter' Buoy will be accessible on [email protected] Its information stream will also be passed onwards through Facebook and the Internet. It will transmit from today until mid July.
The launch of the service – a Volvo Ocean Race first - has come about through a collaboration between the Commissioners of Irish Lights, the Marine Institute, TechworksMarine, Smartbay Ireland andIMERC partners, (Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster).
The eight metres high navigational buoy is fitted with multiple environmental sensors andelectronic transceivers including AIS (Automatic Identification system) andRACON (Radar beacon) and will 'tweet' the whereabouts of the Volvo boats as they head for the nail biting RaceFinale in Galway.
Speaking in Galway at the official announcement of the Ocean Wealth Showcase taking place duringthe Volvo Ocean Race Finale, Yvonne Shields, Chief Executive of the Commissioners of Irish Lights said that the Galway 'twitter' buoy will communicate actively on marine safety information, race updates and eventsassociated with this great occasion.
"While fog signals and whistles may be a thing of the past, the Commissioners of Irish Lights are working on new Aids to Navigation using next generation technologies to communicate with sea goers and navigators around our coasts" said Shields.
Taking place at theVolvo Global Village from 30th June to 8th July, theOcean Wealth Showcase will highlight Ireland's marine resources andsectors to the business community and members of the public attending the Volvo Ocean Race Finale. A number of different events are planned including an Ocean Wealth Exhibition (30th June- 8th July), Family Fun Days(30th June & 1st July), and a Marine Career and Recruitment Event (5th & 6th July).
"Getting more fromour Marine Resources through Technology"- The 3rd Annual Smart OceanConference at the Marine Institute on Monday 2nd July is expected to attract over 120 national andinternational delegates who will hear discussions from the Marine and ICTsectors, State agencies and Research Institutes.
A Symposium on the Marine Environment on 6th July features a number of expert speakersincluding Koen Verbruggen, Geological Survey of Ireland, Dr. Ken Whelan authorand international researcher UCD, Dr. Anthony Grehan, NUIG and Michael O'Cinneide, Director of Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Protection Agency.
The inaugural SmartOcean Innovation Exchange on 3rd July, aims to support companies toinnovate in the Marine Sector and to encourage investment opportunities.
Concluding theweeklong showcase on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th July isa 'Stay Safe at Sea' event which will provide safety talks and advice to visitors including life jacket health checks and stay safe at sea practicalworkshops.
Updates fromGalwayBuoy can be followed on twitter.com/Galwaybuoy