Technology Projects > Ocean Observation Systems > Activities

1. Mandate

  • To maintain Moored Ocean Observation Network comprising of Met Ocean, CAL-VAL and Tsunami buoy for data collection and to disseminate real time data to INCOIS.
  • To support RAMA programme under the INDO-US collaboration transferred from INCOIS.
  • Ocean observational tools prototype technology development.
  • To conduct collaborative R&D projects, capacity building with National and International Institutes / Organizations.
2. Buoy Network
  • The present buoy network comprises of twelve (12) OMNI buoys, four (4) coastal buoy systems, one (1) CAL-VAL buoy system, and two (2) Tsunami buoy systems. Besides, one (1) IndARC mooring at Kongsfjorden, Norway, one ADCP mooring and a Directional Wave Rider buoy off Chennai is also being maintained.

3. Maintenance & Sustenance of Moored Buoy Network:

  • The buoy network is serviced periodically for real-time met ocean data collection. The functional status of buoys during the period under consideration is depicted above. It may be noted that the number of working buoys has been dropped since December 2018 due to the issues related to Inmarsat Land Earth Station (LES) switchover.
4. Significant achievements
  • OOS supported deployment of Bio-Geo sensor (Seabird 16 plus) integrated with AD06 (18.5N/ 67.5E) OMNI buoy for INCOIS.
  • OceanSITES is the global ocean observational network, which aims to collect multidisciplinary data worldwide from the full depth water column. Two moored buoys, one in Arabian Sea and the other in Bay of Bengal are identified as OceanSITES. The moored buoy AD07 (15N/69E) in central Arabian Sea was successfully augmented with additional sensors at 2000m,3000m and 4000m water depth during October 2018.
  • A deep water passive ocean acoustic sensor was installed in the AD09 (8N/73E) OMNI Buoy in south-eastern Arabian Sea at 500 m depth during October 2018, to collect the ambient noise data between frequencies 10 Hz to 100 kHz. This system is capable to collect and store long term noise data for 15 months period at a sampling rate of 32 KHz.
  • DBCP Guidelines for Oceanographic Instruments: Dr.R.Venkatesan provided an overview of the draft document of guidelines for Oceanographic Observations and Instruments during 34th DBCP meeting held at Cape Town, South Africa during 23-26 October 2018.
5. Support to RAMA activities:
  • OOS-NIOT has been extending the operational support to NOAA/PMEL for RAMA buoys since April 2017. During this reporting period, nine operations have been conducted during November 2018 on-board ORV Sagar Nidhi. Long pending 109 retrieved RAMA items have been re-exported to NOAA-PMEL. NIOT staff participated in the cruise on-board ORV Sagar Nidhi during November 2018. The team successfully completed nine RAMA buoy operations consisting of three recoveries and six deployments. Apart from this six AOML (Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory) drifters were deployed in southern Indian Ocean.
6. Cruise activities:
  • During this period, OOS has undertaken 4 cruises/field trips, 64 days of sailing covering a distance approximately 4274 nautical miles, 838 man-days for the completion of 26 operations (12 deployments &14 retrievals) in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. OOS has been systematically carrying out preparations for executing these tasks in spite of the several challenges faced such as ship time availability, adverse weather conditions, harsh marine environment, and inaccessibility to the site in case of any eventualities, vandalism, a lengthy procurement process and large inventory.
  • Two OMNI buoys (BD09 & BD10), TB09 Tsunami buoy were serviced during 28 August – 23 September 2018 using on-board ORV Sagar Nidhi.
  • OOS Team completed a cruise on-board ORV SAGAR KANYA from Goa to Tuticorin from 20th October to 23rd November 2018 and serviced buoys TB12, AD06, AD07, AD08, AD09, AD10 and CB02 successfully. It involved 74 successful operations of deployment /retrieval in 26days.
  • A coastal buoy CB04 was deployed on 28 December 2018 off Goa using the services of ORV Sagar Manjusha.

Map of Cruises undertaken August to January 2018
7. Data Dissemination to INCOIS:

  • NIOT disseminates real time data to INCOIS through email, VSAT and FTP every three hours and on monthly basis. Further, as and when the buoys are retrieved from the location, high resolution data from the internal storage (Hard Disk) of the buoys system is also provided to INCOIS through FTP.
8. Significant Real-time Observations:
  • The buoy systems captured the signals of Cyclonic Storm Daye (19-22 September 2018), Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Luban (6-15 October 2018), Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Titli (8-12 October 2018) and Cyclonic Storm Gaja (10- 20 November 2018). Also the Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential (TCHP), estimated using the moored buoy temperature profiles, is provided to NWFC (National Weather Forecasting Centre) and Area Cyclone Warning Centre for enabling the cyclone tracking and intensification. The coastal buoy systems are equipped with rapid mode data collection to disseminate high frequency observations during the cyclone period.
9. Data Validation:
  • The quality of the data is ensured by comparing the observations from the buoys with other standard reference platform/systems. The current measurements from buoy mounted downward looking ADCP is validated with an upward looking ADCP mooring in the Southern Arabian Sea. The preliminary analysis shows good agreement between both measurements. The quality of conductivity and temperature sensors were also ensured by performing field calibration experiments. The inter-comparison of wave measurements between NIOT Data buoy and the reference standard Directional Wave Rider buoy, as a part of Pilot Project on Wave Measurement, Evaluation and Testing (PPWET), points towards a good agreement between DWR and moored buoy wave measurements.
10. Technology developments:
Sagar Bhoomi:
  • The field testing of Sagar Bhoomi version II was successfully carried out in Arabian Sea during November 2018 on board Sagar Kanya and the system functionality was satisfactory. In order to have universality in the data format, the Sagar Bhoomi is implemented with DART message format.
  • The development of state of Art next generation Data buoy CPU is in progress. The interface of all sensors, integrated testing and telemetry system testing completed. The prototype unit will be taken for field trails during the upcoming March/April 2019 scheduled cruise. The Hrudaya system is capable to transmit more than 150 parameters in real time, has feature of rapid mode data transmission during cyclones, continuous high frequency data collection & storage for all parameters/sensors, storage support memory for more than five years period. System hardware is delivered and final integrated testing as per contract is in progress and is in matured state.
Development of ROBO Boat:
  • An autonomous robotic boat for coastal and deep water surface observation is under development and the same has been tested off Chennai during September 2018.LLDPE with UV resistant material with length (3.3m), width (0.66m) and height (0.4m) with a net weight of 22 kg and with a payload of 120 kg is selected. Thruster consisting of 350W(Max), 5 kgf, with Rechargeable Li-Ion battery and 6 Channel RF remote are the special features of the Robo Boat.
Calibration Test Facility
  • OOS has successfully established the state-of-art Calibration Test Facility (CTF) for the parameters such as Air temperature, Air humidity, Air pressure, precipitation and Analog channel in CPU with reference instruments which is recommended by WMO for the Regional Marine Instrumentation Centre (RMIC) laboratories. These reference equipments are having traceability with National standard i.e. National Physical Laboratory New Delhi.
  • In addition to the calibration, this facility has capacity to service the Precipitation sensors. All the subcomponents are procured from respective OEM to service the sensors. In-house calibration and servicing of sensors in NIOT ensures the quality of the data, cost saving and avoids delay in sending the sensors to OEM for service and calibration.
Shore station Upgradation:
  • The upgraded data centre facility CORNEA – Centre for Ocean Realtime iNformation viEw and Archives is made operational from October 2018 and formally inaugurated on 24th Jan 2019 by Dr. M. Rajeevan, Secretary-MoES.

Best in Class Features, Capabilities and Benefits of CORNEA:

  • Complies to global tier II Data Centre standards.
  • Integrated designs for scalability, safety, clean and highly secured environment.
  • Monitoring and Management System to check vital parameters
  • Video surveillance & Bio-metric Authentication Enabled
  • Email & SMS Alerts on vital parameters exceeding threshold
  • Novec based fire suppression system that detects early fire

  • Multi-level redundancy in terms of cooling, power, IT hardware and Application
  • Hosts suite of high-tech scalable IT infrastructure facilities to receive, archive, compute, monitor and visually display the real-time data from the buoy network, manage and disseminate data in real time.
  • High-end Matrix Video Wall & Conferencing solution to have better insight to data
  • 3.75 crores of records migrated from the legacy to new structured database
  • Most importantly, the migration from legacy system to the new system completed successfully without even a single data loss.
  • The setup was built and completed within 110 days against the estimate of 120 days involving 7 stake holders from the contractor side
    The existing data reception software application ADDRESS is also upgraded with advanced 3D/4D data visualization tools that supports complex data analysis discovering patterns and trends in oceanographic science. The data centre modular design will have faster application performance and lesser carbon footprint.
11. Collaborative Projects:
Bharat Electronics Limited, Hyderabad:
  • BEL, Hyderabad officials visited NIOT-OOS on 3rd January 2019 for a technical support discussion for the development of a sub-surface buoy surveillance system for submarine application.
    IGCAR, Chennai:
  • Discussions were held with IGCAR, Kalpakkam representatives for the technical support to deploy buoy systems to monitor the gamma radiation using buoy systems along with Met ocean parameters and Surveillance system. A proposal was prepared for one buoy system and submitted to IGCAR for further process.
    NCCR, Chennai:
  • A project proposal titled “Assessment of microplastics distribution in the north Indian Ocean”, is proposed jointly with NCCR-Chennai. The main objective is to identify and analyse the micro-plastic pollution in Indian Seas.
    NRSC, Hyderabad:
  • A project proposal titled ‘Ocean Heat Content using Moored Buoy Observations in Northern NICES (National Information System for Climate and Environment Studies) Indian Ocean and their comparison with NICES products”, is submitted to NRSC-Hyderabad.

    12. SAVe Competition:
    • NIOT in association with IEEE-OES, India Chapter, Marine Technology Society (MTS) and Ocean Society of India (OSI) have been organizing the 6th National Competition on Student Autonomous underwater Vehicle SAVe 2019. Out of 22 teams registered, 15 teams were selected in the Conceptual Design level. 11 teams participated in the final phase of 6th National Competition held at the Swimming Pool of IIT Madras during 23-24 January 2019. NIOT has been sponsoring the Indian team to participate in the international AUVSI Competition in San Diego, USA.
    • The National Committee under the chairmanship of Prof.P.Krishnan Kutty, IIT Madras interacted, reviewed and evaluated the eleven student teams on 23rd & 24th January 2019.Out of eleven, five teams were qualified for final competition and Indian Institute of Technology Bombay & National Institute of Technology Rourkela are the winner (jointly) of the Competition. Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur occupied the Second position and MIT-World Peace University; Pune took the Third position in the Competition.
    • Dr.M.Rajeevan, Secretary, MoES & Chairman of GC for NIOT interacted and motivated the students on 24th January 2019 at IIT Madras Swimming pool.
    • Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthy, Director IIT Madras witnessed the events with motivated the students by his speech. Also he distributed prizes and Certificates, to the winning teams and participants.