Tiro Moana Sensor presented at OceanObs’19 conference in Hawaii

Last week, MetService & MetOcean Solutions’ Head of Research Partnerships, Prof. Moninya Roughan, presented the Tiro Moana Sensor, a low-cost smart ocean sensor being developed under the Moana Project, at the OceanObs’19 conference in Hawaii.

Prof. Roughan says the conference sets guides for the next decade of innovation in ocean observation, with this edition focused on improving response to scientific and societal needs of a fit-for-purpose integrated ocean observing system.

“We are delighted to be part of the international programme committee, organising in particular the Innovation session of the OceanObs’19 conference. We are bringing fresh perspectives on the fundamental and imperative changes coming in the next decade of ocean observing”

The Moana Project, embracing ‘the Internet of Things’ concept, is developing the Tiro Moana Sensor in partnership with Zebra-Tech. It is a plug and play auto offload profiling temperature sensor that transmits data in near real time upon surfacing. The sensor will be deployed throughout NZ’s Exclusive Economic Zone by the seafood sector, i.e. growing the number of open observations through crowd sourced data collection.

Tiro Moana Sensor developed by Zebra-Tech.

Tiro Moana Sensor developed by Zebra-Tech.

Zebra-Tech’s Managing Director John Radford says Zebra-Tech is very excited to be involved with the Moana Project.

“We have designed and engineered the Tiro Moana sensor to reliably operate in the harsh conditions associated with commercial fishing vessels. Being fully automatic, it will not interfere with the fishing operation, while it produces accurate and vital data for the fishing sector and New Zealand as a whole.”

The temperature profile data will be returned in near real time via the cell phone network or satellite, ingested into data assimilating ocean prediction models, and returned to end users through an open-access nationwide Ocean Analysis and Prediction System, delivered by the New Zealand Meteorological Service.

“By instrumenting seafood sector vessels we will greatly increase the number of sub surface temperature observations available for data assimilation, thereby increasing model accuracy and predictability,” says Prof. Roughan. “Our disruptive technology approach highlights the benefit of partnering with end users to collect and return research quality datasets that are relevant for industry needs.”

The Tiro Moana Sensor is part of the Moana Project, a cross-institutional programme funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Endeavour Fund. The sensor will provide a more complete picture of ocean temperatures, circulation and dynamics, and the relationships with fishery recruitment variability, aiding prediction. It will underpin operational efficiencies, biosecurity protection, risk mitigation and economic growth for NZ’s seafood sector ensuring long-term sustainability.

Running from 16 to 20 September, the OceanObs’19 conference was held in Honolulu, Hawaii, to determine how we meet future user needs, improve the delivery of products across the globe, advance technology and services, and balance needs, capabilities, and knowledge worldwide. This edition theme was ‘An ocean of opportunity’, aiming to define outcomes that will result in a fit-for-purpose Global Ocean Observing System over the next decade. Find out more at www.oceanobs19.net

For more information about Tiro Moana Sensor, contact us at info@moanaproject.org or visit www.moanaproject.org