Realtime environmental monitoring of the Great Barrier Reef

Ruxton, A.B., Woods, G.S., Gigan, Gilles, and Huddlestone-Holmes, C.R. (2006) Realtime environmental monitoring of the Great Barrier Reef. In: Proceedings of the 10th Annual Environmental Postgraduate Conference 2006. pp. 238-244. From: ERE Environmental Research Event 2006: Environment working together - a multi-disciplinary approach, 10-13 December 2006, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

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The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is the largest natural feature on earth, stretching more than 2,300km along the northeast coast of Australia. It contains a diverse array of species and habitats that are threatened by environmental and human impacts. Monitoring the environmental changes on the GBR would enable scientists, managers and commercial groups to better understand the health of this ecological system. It would also help shape decision making to ensure this important natural asset is protected into the future. This paper investigates how environmental information can be collected, complied and brought back to the mainland from the GBR. In particular, this paper address the three major components of this type of system; the high speed communication link needed to connect the reef to the mainland, the design of the communication base station (or node) on the reef itself, and the sensor network to be deployed across the reef. It is shown that all three parts of this system involve unique design challenges due to the harsh conditions and the remote location of the region to be monitored. Two key issues, the high speed communication link to the mainland and the power supply for the reef node, are focused on in this paper. A novel method of using the evaporation duct just above the ocean surface to tunnel radio signals beyond the horizon is proposed for a high speed communication link to the mainland. The design of a hybrid wind/ solar supply to power the reef node is also outlined. A monitoring network for use on Davies Reef, approximately 80km off the coast of northern Queensland, is used as a case study in this paper.

Item ID: 4358
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 0-86443-781-1
Keywords: radio propagation; sensor networks; environmental research; evaporation ducts; communication networks
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2009 23:52
FoR Codes: 10 TECHNOLOGY > 1005 Communications Technologies > 100505 Microwave and Millimetrewave Theory and Technology @ 60%
10 TECHNOLOGY > 1005 Communications Technologies > 100599 Communications Technologies not elsewhere classified @ 10%
SEO Codes: 89 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 8901 Communication Networks and Services > 890199 Communication Networks and Services not elsewhere classified @ 60%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960508 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Mining Environments @ 40%
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