Several months of intense development culminated in the launch in March 2012 of Gardline’s unique multi-buoy, multi-parameter real time water quality monitoring system, MEMO (Marine Environmental Meteorology and Oceanography).
In response to a massive increase of large scale dredging projects in Australia, the system has been put together by a collaboration of Gardline Environmental and Survey Support teams, and is designed to be used to monitor and mitigate the environmental impact of dredge operations, by making available key indicators to both the dredge master and other stakeholders via a secure web portal.
The system takes data from multiple buoys over the dredge site, covering parameters such as PAR (Photosynthetically Available Radiation), OBS (Optical Backscatter) and local meteorology, and feeds all this information to a shore station, for onward re-transmission to the dredge vessel and also to Gardline’s data server in the UK. Onboard the dredger, the key environmental measurements are compared against regulatory thresholds and remote reference buoys, and fed to an intuitive ‘traffic light’ display for in-field decision making, whilst users onshore are able to access raw data and perform more complex analyses and correlations.
The system is undergoing UK field trials prior to deployment in Australia, where market potential is huge. The modular nature of the development, and in-house control of software means that the system lends itself to application in other opportunities worldwide, using unique and innovative technology to minimise environmental impact.
Dredging Today Staff, March 13, 2012; Image: Gardline