This underwater buoy technology will monitor the waters of the Mar Menor

researchers of the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT) have developed some underwater buoys in order to form a measurement network of marine parameters in the Mar Menor. This initiative makes it possible to register and send automatically and autonomously, several times a day, parameters of environmental interest in the lagoon, such as temperature, salinity, chlorophyll and dissolved oxygen, among other. In this way, displacement in boats for manual sampling is avoided, with the added value of being able to measure the data at 5 depths in each shipment and analyze the differences between the different levels of the water mass.

UPCT researchers show the buoys they have developed.

These buoys, baptized as NAUTILUShave been designed and built by the PRISMA research group of the UPCT, specialized in the development of precision systems for agri-food, environmental and social sustainability and, after several years of development and testing in different environments such as the Real Club de Regatas de Cartagena or the Mar Menor itself, they are ready for use.

Six of these buoys have been acquired by the Murcian Institute for Agrarian and Environmental Research and Development (IMIDA) of the Government of the Region of Murcia, which is awaiting final authorizations for anchoring and signaling. “These buoys, which are not visible from the surface, they will allow that at all times there are parameters of different cardinal points and different depths of the Mar Menorwhich will allow us to continue improving the monitoring network that the Community has active”, points out the director of IMIDA, Víctor Serrano.

Detailed image of the buoy and the control system through a smartphone.

The buoy rests on the seabed and emerges several times a daycarrying with it various sensors that measure the parameters at different depths, and once on the surface it sends the data using technology based on the Internet of Things (IoT)”, details Pencho Soto, principal investigator of the project.

The device has a dynamic control system that allows you to modify its buoyancy. In this way it is possible to carry out the measurements in different layers or strata of the water”, deepens the professor in charge of the PRISMA group, Roque Torres. “With this device, the temporal resolution of monitoring the state of the waters is increased, making it possible to analyze changes in the Mar Menor with much more precision,” explains Javier Gilabert, a researcher in Ecology at the UPCT.

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