Smart buoy tech live streams data 24/7 from sea floor

Tuesday, 07 March, 2023

Perth-headquartered Harvest Technology Group Ltd has developed a bespoke solution for an oil and gas exploration company, to enable access to real-time data from the sea floor. The system uses acoustic transfer technology to securely transmit data 24/7 from a monitoring structure on the sea floor to a ‘smart buoy’ at the surface. The smart buoy acts as a modem to communicate data back onshore through a mobile or satellite link, at a fraction of the bandwidth that is typically required, thereby addressing the challenge of relying on retrospective data to make critical operational decisions.

The Nodestream protocol is self-powered so it can operate for several years without requiring in-person inspection and maintenance, thereby removing people from unsafe environments, reducing carbon emissions and eliminating the high costs associated with traditional subsea monitoring. Jimmy Dean, Head of Harvest’s Solution Architecture, said the Nodestream protocol allows customers to receive a live video feed of their subsea assets from anywhere via any mobile device with internet access.

“Another important feature is the ability to alert onshore headquarters when there is a major change in sensor readings, so customers can respond quickly in emergencies or monitor until intervention is required,” Dean said.

Harvest’s research and development is conducted in-house by its team of 20 developers, many of whom have experience working in remote offshore operations, away from onshore expertise. This drives them to solve challenges when operating remotely.

“Leading operators are adopting technology to gain a competitive edge. Shipping, ports, oil and gas exploration, renewable energy, offshore wind farms, aquaculture and environmental researchers know you need the best data to help make decisions, and the best data isn’t yesterday’s data, it’s live-streamed data,” said Jason King, Harvest’s Product Design and Delivery Lead.

In 2022, Harvest invested nearly $5 million in research and development, plus $1 million to build its innovation hub in Perth’s Technology Park.

Image credit: Harvest Technology Group

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