A new ocean philanthropy organization, Aqualink, is giving away smart buoys with a temperature sensor. The sensors can be used to monitor reef temperature in real-time as well as connect into a global monitoring network.
Applications from both reef restoration managers and citizen scientists are encouraged. Find more about the details about the technology here.
What Can You Do?
Each Citizen Scientist will get a free spotter buoy which transmits data over satellite to the Aqualink webserver. After a simple installation, the spotter smart buoy will automatically start transmitting information on temperature, wind, and waves.
To help you understand the cause-and-effect of temperatures on your local reef the Aqualink website gives you the ability to upload survey imagery correlated to temperature changes.
Aqualink Monitoring System
Current global Ocean temperature monitoring systems are restricted to satellite derived surface temperatures which only capture the skin temperature of the water. The temperatures at deeper depths, where coral reefs can be found, are mostly unknown.
Scientists will study those temperatures by installing local data loggers which have to be physically retrieved from the reef to have their data accessed. Once the loggers have been retrieved the findings will be published in a paper but it’s rare to get continuous real-time readings of those temperatures.
The monitoring system we are deploying includes a solar powered smart buoy that relays temperature information in real-time, giving us some of the needed data to detect potential coral bleaching events early and put response plans in place.
The real-time temperature information is transmitted to our servers where we combine that data with survey imagery to help understand the cause-and-effect of increasing temperatures on the local marine ecosystem. All of the data and imagery will be publicly available through an API.
We will also be working with coral scientists to create easy-to-use instruction manuals for conducting reef surveys and implementing response plans, all of which will be facilitated through our monitoring system.