LETS-SAT: Leverage tracking efficiency on oceanographic buoys using an energy autonomous solution transmitting satellite messages

User group PI: Georgios Koutras, OpenIchnos Ltd, Malta

Hosting infrastructures: HCMR Heraklion Coastal Buoy & Saronikos buoy & Athos buoy, Greece

Main Objectives

The fleet management market is rapidly growing as there is significant increase in maintenance cost, fuel consumption, regulations, and accidents which respectively increase the need for effective and efficient solutions and services. Maritime industry, which is a crucial segment of this market, faces severe limitations in the fleet management as the majority uses tracking systems which need a power source and are limited to GSM coverage areas. Moreover, solutions based on GSM network covers 50% of the terrestrial globe, leaving deep sea and coastal waters out of its range. OpenIchnos tracking solution addresses these challenges, as its tracking device is designed and manufactured with two key goals in mind: a) very low power consumption, b) equipped with a non-toxic battery and a very small photovoltaic panel. This makes OpenIchnos a really autonomous service, able to work for 60 days without sunlight and reach full charge in just 3 days of sunshine. Furthermore, OpenIchnos uses the Iridium satellite constellation for transmitting data, achieving true global coverage while the asset’s owners are able to monitor the whole tracking history through their PCs and mobile phones. Moreover, it embeds an emergency button, alerting the asset’s owners in case of an emergency situation.

Although OpenIchnos was initially developed for moving vessels, the technical and practical suitability of the system is an obvious challenge to test in a new market, that of the marine observing platforms. The proposed POSEIDON platforms offer a wide range of environmental conditions (wave, temperature, salinity, etc.) and are located in areas which are ideal for satellite tracking solutions. The simultaneous access on the three platforms for extended periods of time (1 full year) gives the possibility to fully exploit and test the operational capabilities of the product.

Our objectives are:

  1. To install more efficient and sophisticated tracking device on moored oceanographic buoys. The geo-referencing module will be developed and embedded to allow intelligent monitoring, thus utilizing efficient tracking and alerting for the buoys. This will provide both a primary and a backup geolocation system for fixed platforms.
  2. To verify the applicability of OpenIchnos solution in maritime environment in long term field exposure under harsh sea conditions.

Project Report:  LETS-SAT Final Report (674.1 KiB) 


Athos Buoy:  History ATHOS (1.4 MiB) 

Heraklion Coastal Buoy:  History HERAKLION (1.8 MiB) 

Saronikos Buoy: History ARGOSARONIKOS (1.8 MiB)