Multidisciplinary studies must be economically conducted on the most appropriate time- and space-scales. For this purpose, AST is developing inexpensive data buoys to augment the NOAA fleet. A low-cost, light-weight, modular instrumented buoy has been designed, fabricated and tested for use in a near-shore moored array. Instrumentation includes a dual-frequency echo sounder, an ADCP, GPS, and ethernet radio modem. The buoy has a strobe, radar reflector, solar panels, wind generator, and windows-programmable power management circuit. The segmented buoy is transported and stored in an aluminum box 8’ by 4’ by 2’. Data is telemetered by 900 MHz ethernet radio modem to a ship or land-base multiple miles away. Fish or zooplankton abundance, currents, and water properties can be concurrently and economically monitored for weeks or months in near-shore regions.
Autonomous data buoy for near-shore ecosystem investigations. Five buoys of this design (two fitted with dual frequency echo sounders and three with ADCPs) were deployed off the Antarctic Peninsula in January 2005 in collaboration with the SWFSC/AERD, and funded by NSF’s Office of Polar Programs