Current Projects

For a complete list of ongoing projects, please click here

SmartBay Data Fusion - Kinvara Bay Galway 

Dr Tim McCarthy NUI Maynooth Prof. Dermot Diamond DCU and Dr. Laurence Gill TCD

This SmartBay Data Fusion Sensor project is an integration o fthree projects from Tim McCarthy NUI Maynooth, Dermot Diamond DCU and LaurenceGill TCD.The Kinvarra field work was supported through the SmartBay National Access Infrastructure Fund.

The project which is currentlyunderway in the Kinvara Bay area deals with the fusion of multi-platforms,multi-thematic sensor data including: Earth Observation, aerial (un-manned aerial vehicle) as well as in-situ sensor networks as inputs to designing andconstructing a decision support tool for managing a sensitive Marine/Coastalarea.

The aim of the project is to develop mobile conductivity andtemperature sensing systems which can be transported by boat over a section ofthe Kinvara Bay area in order to determine the quantity of submarine freshwaterinputs into from the south Galway karst system.

The researchers can be seen in the images below on a recent field trip where they carried out a survey of the Kinvara Bay area, with the assistance of Jude Kilmartin of Ribwest and the SMartBay technican Damian Glynn. Smartbay

John Cleary DCU on the rib during the survey

Preliminary images from the thermal imaging camera

Proposed Ocean Energy Test Bed

SmartBay Ireland is collaborating with the Marine Institute and Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland to develop a national test and demonstration facility for marine energy and technology. The proposed Test Bed will be deployed at the existing ¼-scale wave energy test site and consists of:

• A standard telecommunications cable from a shore station to the wave energy test site providing power and data connectivity 

• Subsea test and monitoring platforms 

The test and demonstration facility will provide a test bed for Marine ICT which will establish Ireland as a global leader in the development, testing and delivery of ICT products and services to the global marine sector. It will also provide wave energy developers with a facility to assess the performance of wave energy converters. In the longer term, Galway Bay will become a national centre of excellence for the marine technology sector.  

The project is currently at the planning stage, in advance of procurement and installation. The selection of the preferred cable route was completed based a range of exploratory surveys that have been ongoing throughout 2011 and 2012. Surveys included: Bathymetry, side scan and geochirp surveys, ecological and archaeological surveys and an onshore survey. The technical specification and requirements of the cable and shore station have been identified. 

The project team is currently preparing a foreshore licence application and a stakeholder consultation exercise is on-going. We are seeking feedback on the ocean energy test bed project from all interested parties.

For further information please click here

Proposed Ocean Energy Test Bed

Proposed Ocean Energy Test Bed

IBM underwater acoustic monitoring project

IBM are developing a monitoring system which will produce one of the largest continuous collections of underwater acoustic data ever captured. This data will be made available to marine researchers and regulatory agencies to further advance knowledge of natural and man-made underwater sound, and help develop standards and reporting, benefiting marine environmental agencies as well as industries including renewable energy, shipping, and offshore oil and gas.

The system will consist of sensing platforms, a communications infrastructure, and advanced stream analytics that utilize cloud computing. The first test site, located in Galway Bay, is part of a collaboration with SmartBay involving IBM Research and the Marine Institute Ireland to monitor wave conditions, acoustics, marine life and pollution levels in and around the bay. Development of a full scale, grid connected test site on the west coast of Ireland near Belmullet, County Mayo, is underway.

Image of wave energy conversion device

Wave energy conversion device

Technology from ideas – Elastomeric mooring solution development

This project is investigating current communication link stability utilizing the existing SmartBay buoy mooring configurations and evaluating how this can be improved using advanced elastomeric mooring systems. The aim is to identify an elastomeric mooring solution which will deliver stable communication links across all sea states by reducing buoy pitch, yaw and roll. The project is focusing on the Mobilis db8000 data buoy used by the Marine Institute and uses Orcaflex, an industry standard mooring simulation tool.

A demonstration of the project will be available at the SmartBay stand (SmartOcean Innovation Exchange) on July 3rd and 4th

Galway Buoy

SmartBay Ireland, the Marine Institute, the Commissioners of Irish Lights, Techworks Marine and IMERC are collaborating on a project which combines marine technologies and engineering with internet social media including Twitter and Facebook, all set against the backdrop of the Volvo Ocean Race 2012 in Galway.

The Galway Buoy (@GalwayBuoy) is a Type 1 South Cardinal Superbuoy which has been deployed in Galway Bay since 14th June 2012. The buoy is fitted with a variety of meteorological and oceanographic sensors which tweets data to (@SmartBayIreland and @GalwayBuoy) automatically via the automatic identification system (AIS) and GSM networks, giving a unique insight into sea and weather conditions in Galway Bay. The buoy also tweets updates on the Volvo Ocean Race and information on the onshore festival events.

Image of Galway Buoy

Galway Buoy


Ubipix is a geospatial multimedia technology, developed by NUI Maynooth spin-out company iGeotec, that enables geocoded imagery and full motion video to be captured by SmartPhone devices and tagged before uploading and sharing on the web. 

There are two components to the Ubipix system; the SmartPhone App that enables user capture, tag and upload multimedia datastreams and a Client-Server architecture that supports publishing, discovery and sharing of users’ spatial multimedia content. This generic geocoded media technology enables rapid collection, classification, upload and sharing of real world environments & events.

To try Ubipix click here

Image of Ubipix video footage

Ubipix video footage of deployments to Galway buoy

Satellite remote sensing data products (Galway Bay)

Dr. Edel O'Connor from the Marine and Environmnetal Sensing Technology Hub (MESTECH) is working on a SmartBay project utilizing the data from the SmartBay Ireland and Galway buoy deployments along with other deployments that are part of the SmartBay infrastructure.

This project is an investigation into satellite remote sensing data products in Galway Bay. As part of GMES, projects such as MyOcean are  producing a number of analysis and forecast products incorporating both satellite remote sensing and in-situ data. These products are covering a number of parameters such as SST, ocean color, sea level etc.

This project is investigating the suitability of a number of these products as part of a multi-modal operational marine monitoring network using ground-truth data from the in-situ deployments.

Image of Google Earth Plot With Sensors

Google Earth Plot With Sensors


WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a telecommunications technology that provides high-throughput broadband connections (up to 70mbps) over distances of up to 50km. Intel, along with several corporate sponsors, are working with the wireless industry to drive the deployment of WiMax networks worldwide.

The Marine Institute, Intel and Irish Broadband are working together on proposals to setup and install a WiMax network for the Galway Bay area. The SmartBay initiative provides a perfect environment to carry out field research and development of WiMax technologies in the marine environment. High speed communication networks such as WiMax are an essential requirement for the development of leading edge research in scientific and technological fields. The WiMax infrastructure will provide essential support in areas where there exists real opportunities for scientific and commercial development, and where there exists a core of Irish expertise (e.g. Marine Science, information Communications Technology - ICT and environmental sensors).

The harnessing of an advanced technology such as WiMax in the marine environment and its integration into the SmartBay Initiative will give Ireland a key strategic advantage in the development of maritime mobile wireless broadband networks, provide a national and International test site for advanced coastal observation and monitoring technologies, facilitate research of advanced sensor and sensor system technology and will further advance Irelands marine research and innovation capabilities.

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