SmartBay wireless communications launched

17 Nov 2010

A major innovation, incorporating wireless communications into a marine platform that involves a growing series of partnerships with Irish and overseas industries, has been launched.

SmartBay, which is being developed under the SmartOcean Strategy, is a network of buoys, seafloor cables and other infrastructure supporting a range of sensors, information systems, telemetry and other communication technologies that provide the basis for real-time oceanographic monitoring.

It aims to facilitate the convergence of expertise in areas such as informatics, communications, sensors, software, control systems and mechanical engineering, and link them with marine science.

WiMax enabled

The contribution of the WiMax high-speed data network to SmartBay provides the platform with a wide range of new technologies to be developed and tested; from early warning systems for pollution or naturally occurring toxins, to control and management systems for ocean energy devices, detection and surveillance systems (physical and biological) to monitoring systems that can detect long-term shifts in ocean conditions that may be induced by global climate change.

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Recourses Eamon Ryan launched the wireless infrastructure component of SmartBay, the National Facility for Research, Test and Demonstration of Emerging Marine ICT and Environmental Technologies.

Smart economy

“Projects such as this one are an important example of innovative partnerships focused on next-generation research that will underpin our development as a smart economy. SmartBay is one of the six action areas identified in the ‘Technology Actions to Support the Smart Economy’ strategy and earlier this year the government approved a €3.8m award over a five-year period to support the operation of the facility.

“Additional investments, such as that made by Intel in establishing the wireless communications backbone for SmartBay, demonstrate a major commitment by industry to collaborate with government and academia in order to drive innovation,” said Ryan.