Ocean Scientific International Ltd (OSIL) have teamed up with UK-based company ASV Ltd to offer a low-cost, mobile alternative to a permanent moored buoy system for all monitoring applications, but particularly targeted at oil, gas, dredging activities and environmental monitoring.

OSIL are experienced manufacturers of data buoy systems for all applications and locations, including dredge monitoring projects and environmental management schemes. ASV Ltd design, build and operate unmanned marine vehicle systems for commercial, government and military customers. Together they are offering a rugged, reliable and effective unmanned system using the latest sensors and GPS positioning.

The system utilises one of the ASV C-Stat station keeping buoys which can be deployed for up to 4 days at a time, running either on hybrid diesel, or full electric power, and can be fully programmed to remain in position with a set watch circle, shadow a vessel (i.e. dredgers), or follow a set patrol route, allowing data to be gathered over a much wider area than could normally be achieved with a fixed point buoy.

OSIL’s knowledge of instrumented and telemetered data buoy systems allows the buoy to be equipped with different instrument options, which include a turbidity probe, an ADCP, or a multiparameter sonde, which could be configured for various sensors, including hydrocarbons, DO, pH and turbidity. Separate telemetry systems for data and vessel control mean that data can be viewed in real time via radio, GSM/GPRS or satellite without interrupting navigation or command signals.

The 2.4m, 450kg system is easy to set up and quick to deploy. Licenses are not required to deploy the buoy, and the lack of moorings combined with superior navigation control software means that the system is easy to re-position or remove from site completely with minimal environmental impact. An added benefit to the mooring-free system is a reduced potential for damage or theft of components.

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