MetOcean Buoy

Overview

The RPS MetOcean Buoy uses a toroidal shape hull which provides the most stable platform for wind measurements. The hull design has been used by RPS for over 20 years as the basis for many oceanographic and meteorological measurements in shallow to very deep waters.

The hexagonal hull, with hull diameters from 1.2 m to 3.0 m, is able to carry a large payload while providing a stable platform for measurements, and still maintaining a high level of buoyancy. The hull design has continually proven itself in extreme cyclonic conditions over extended deployments often spanning several years.

Key Features

  • Dual redundant stations to minimise risk of costly data loss or site repair visit.
  • Relatively small size, for easy handling, with large buoyancy.
  • Stable platform for wind measurements and communications.
  • Side or keel mooring arrangements available to suit all conditions and water depths.
  • Large canisters for electronics and batteries.
  • Large capacity solar power supply or battery powered where solar panels may be at risk of theft.
  • Flexible mounting arrangements for instrumentation.
  • Proven record of survivability through extreme conditions.
  • Each buoy can be easily customised to suit the application and clients needs.

Options and Customising

Two-way satellite communication methods including Iridium, Argos, Inmarsat and Globalstar.

Other alternative communication methods easily integrated including VHF/UHF, 3G-GSM.

On-board high capacity data logging using the RPS MC range of data loggers allows for integration of most oceanographic, meteorological and water quality sensors.

History

The toroidal buoys have been deployed in water depths ranging from less than 20 m to in excess of 3000 m. Most deployments have been for extended periods of time, usually between 12 to 24 months, however some have also been permanently deployed.

While the hull design has only changed slightly, the superstructure and mooring design have evolved into its present advanced design. Design focus has always been simplicity and ruggedness, whilst maintaining maximum fl exibility, effectiveness and safety.

Configurations

Wave/MetBuoy – the larger hull sizes are predominantly used to host a range of sensors to measure a wide array of metocean parameters.

The Wave/MetBuoys are designed to carry a dual array of sensors operating independently to maximise data returns, and reduce requirement for unscheduled servicing. Data are logged internally to an MC Data Logger and can also be transmitted via satellite, radio modem or GSM.

Current Meter Buoy – the smaller 1.2 m diameter hull is used for applications where near-surface real-time currents are required to be measured using a buoy that is practical and manageable. Currents are measured using a Nortek Aquadopp Acoustic Current Meter suspended below, or mounted within, the keel of the buoy.

If required, a wind and other sensors can be fitted to provide real-time data.

Specifications

Standard parameters are included in the following table.

Parameter Range Accuracy Resolution
Wind Speed (WindSonic) 0 to 60 m s-1 ±4% 0.01 m s-1
Wind Direction (WindSonic) 0 to 360° ±3°
Wind Speed (WindObserver II) 0 to 65 m s-1 ±2% 0.01 m s-1
Wind Direction (WindObserver II) 0 to 360° ±2°
Air Temperature (Pyrosales RTD) -200 to 600 °C ±0.05 °C 0.1 °C
Relative Humidity (Vaisala HMP-155) 0 to 100% ±1.0% at 20 °C 0.025 % RH
Barometric Pressure (Vaisala PTB-110A) 800 to 1060 hPa ±0.3 hPa at 20 °C 0.1 hPa
Global Solar Radiation (Middleton EQ08) 300 to 3000 nm Not specified <0.5 W/m2
Net Solar Radiation (Middleton CN1-R) 0.3 to 60 μm Not specified <0.5 W/m2

Additional sensors may also be added to include the following.

ParameterRangeAccuracyResolution
Rainfall (RM Young 50203)n/a±1 mm1 mm
Seawater Temperature (Pyrosales RTD)-200 to 600 °C±0.05 °C0.1 °C
Current Velocity (Nortek Aquadopp)0 to 5 m/s1% +/- 0.5 m s-11 mm/s
Current Direction (Nortek Aquadopp)0 to 359°±2°0.1°
Waves (Mose-G1000)1-100s (high frequency)
10-1000s (low frequency)
1-2 cm (high frequency)
2-3 cm (low frequency 300s cut-off)
1 mm
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