Potential of Digital Ocean Addressed in Galway

Repro free: Frances Flannery (Director) Sonar SIM pictured with John Breslin (General Manager) SmartBay pictured at the Digital Ocean conference in Galway. Irish marine startup Sonar Sim's smart software for underwater sonar operations will be utilising the SmartBay Subsea Observatory off the Galway Coast to develop their solutions. The SmartBay Subsea Observatory is a key element in Ireland's marine infrastructure, feeding live data from seabed to accelerate business and research opportunities and capabilities. Photo:Andrew Downes, xposure
Frances Flannery, Director, Sonar SIM pictured with John Breslin, General Manager, SmartBay

Speaking this week at the Digital Ocean conference, SmartBay General Manager John Breslin discussed the newly activated SmartBay Subsea Observatory, a key infrastructural element to support the maritime sector.

He said: “The SmartBay Observatory represents the Internet of Things for the marine. Thanks to the extensive underwater equipment we have installed, real-time data from sensors can be accessed through the web and analysed by researchers and companies trying to commercialise novel marine technologies.” The observatory will be used to collect valuable data from the ocean floor before it’s fed to businesses, researchers, scientists and policy makers.

In 2015, the RV Celtic Explorer was used to lay a 4km cable on the seabed along with a frame supporting sensors and monitoring equipment. Now for the first time, the cable will supply power to the site and allow for unlimited data transfer from the site for researchers testing new and innovative marine technologies.

“The SmartBay Subsea Observatory will greatly enhance our understanding of the sea, the impact of weather and climate change, and how the sea reacts in various conditions and how our man-made products will react underwater. The subsea observatory will essentially feed data from the sea floor up to the surface and this information will be vital to accelerate marine research, blue economy businesses and start ups,” said Marine Institute CEO Peter Heffernan.

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The Digital Ocean event highlighted how technology companies can drive new forms of innovation in the blue economy. It featured insights from a number of companies from the technology sector including IBM, Ericsson, Cathx Ocean, Intel and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The Digital Ocean represents Ireland’s opportunity to drive innovation in the collection, communication, management and analysis of marine data for commercialisation, research, economic growth and societal well-being.

Ireland has existing expertise across a number of the key enabling technologies required to develop products and services that will support growth in emerging areas of the global blue economy. It’s believed that this observatory will support the sustainable development of our significant marine resource that is uniquely situated on the European Atlantic seaboard and a potential hotspot for developments in areas such as renewable energy, fisheries, shipping, marine security and surveillance and marine biotechnology.