AUTOMAR - An unmoored, autonomous, station-holding buoy
AUTOMAR stays in position without anchoring, using two GPS-controlled electric motors. The cable under the buoy ensures that wave motion is transferred to the Subwave turbine in the deep. The turbine provides power to keep the battery charged at any time. The battery supplies power to the electric motors and to all equipment on board. Sensors and communication equipment are tailored to the customer's need.
Anchored observation buoys are used for long-term observations from a fixed position. But moorings are expensive and the cost increases with increasing depth. Anchored buoys will therefore not be used when the ocean depth exceeds a thousand meters or so. Deeper areas are covered by drifting buoys, underwater sliders and subsea drifters are used which must be replenished continuously with thousands of new units per year. Long-term observations from fixed positions are therefore non-existent from deep ocean areas, that is, most of the world's ocean areas. This will change with AUTOMAR.
An additional advantage is that AUTOMAR will give a greater surplus of energy for sensors and communication equipment, than any other type of autonomous ocean observing platform.
Who needs AUTOMAR?
AUTOMAR will be useful for institutions involved in observations and surveillance of the oceans.