Ocean Access is developing a new smart ocean data buoy that is submersible and can move up/down in the water column.
Communication below the ocean surface is a tremendous challenge. There is no 4G-network to send or receive your data through, nor a convenient power socket to connect your electrical equipment. Moored buoys on the sea surface are constantly exposed to wear & tear from waves and winds, and the costs associated with material and design for something that can endure this is extremely high.
Ocean Access is developing a stationary, autonomous monitoring system that is not dependent on existing infrastructure and able to transfer large datasets from the seabed to shore. The most critical R&D challenge is developing a communication buoy that can travel up the water column to the sea surface, where it can send data to land via 4G or satellite. Under extreme weather the unit can be lowered and protected in the deep.
Progress report - results:
- Working prototype of buoyancy engine with key functions
- Developed first phase of hydrodynamic simulation tool
- First design of product complete, with product visualization
- Patentability assessment completed, and we have applied for patent
- Additional funding secured
- Ocean Access has participated in the mentor program KongsbergHOW and the accelerator Equinor Techstars Energy Accelerator.
The support from Forskningsrådet through Forny Stud-ENT has allowed us to continue working full-time following graduation from NTNU, and has enabled us to progress to a point where we have validate the market need and the technology through a proof-of-concept. This has enabled us to secure additional funding to keep developing the technology after the Forny Stud-ENT project period.
Our solution can contribute to digitalization in the offshore O&G industry and potentially be the first to enable digital, continuous monitoring of remote subsea wells while also being more cost effective than current practices.
Related to societal impact, this system will enable safer monitoring of subsea wells, which can help reduce the environmental impact within the O&G industry. Additionally, this system can assist in ocean and environmental research, increasing our knowledge of the ocean and our environmental impact on it.