Tested: Deploying Ocean Sensors from a Plane!

We tag along with the engineers at Sofar Ocean Technologies to watch a test of their Spotter Buoy–an ocean sensor that collects data about the weather anywhere it’s deployed. The idea is to put enough of these sensors around the world to gather marine data on an unprecedented scale. Today’s test: deploying these from an airplane!

Comments (10)

10 thoughts on “Tested: Deploying Ocean Sensors from a Plane!

  1. good idea but adding more trash to the oceans is not good. you should make them so you can just drop them from low altitude.

  2. I would hope that a company on this scale will be taking that into consideration in final production. I’m guessing they are just using these items to test for initial testings since the items are easily retrievable by the chase boat.

  3. Correct–these were all retrieved by chase boat after the testing, and all the Spotters have tracking on them for retrieval and any maintenence. These guys definitely consider the impact their tech has on the environment!

  4. It appears that the concept currently looks to remove the strings and parachute and let them separate from the buoy and float away. I know that they retrieved them in this controlled test but the idea is to not have a chase boat picking up the trash in real-life use. I feel that the video should have addressed that as if you look at the YouTube comments, people are not happy about the apparent lack of concern for environmental impacts. The first half of the video WAS about creating a mechanism to separate the parachute, bowl and string from the buoy after all.

  5. What happens to the parachute, strings, and bucket? Are they biodegradable? Or will they add to the plastic pollution problem?

  6. My late father-in-law helped establish SOOP, the “ships of opportunity” program way back which did a lot of the early work on upper ocean current mapping. Having merchant ships drop instrument packages and take readings at predetermined points was a cost effective way of doing out of reach science at the time. Some aspects of that program still exist and taken up by other countries. Not as sexy as dropping things out of airplanes.

  7. Could not agree more with everyone here:

    Really good piece of engineering here BUT more trash into oceans that animals can get trapped into. Hope the cardboard design will end up being used!

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