IMG 6097As some may know by now, the HIGHWAVE team recently installed our first POD (Portable Observation Device) on Inis Meain on the cliff side facing Inis Mór. Over the course of this project this large, black container will hopefully house many different instruments. One of the first instruments we did install was a film camera. IMG 6103We have pointed the camera out to sea and intend to record multiple different wave conditions. The aim of this camera is to record the effects of rain and storm conditions on the waves. The JVC camera installed in the POD has an excellent zoom which means we can record a close up of an area of water hundreds of meters away. Depending on the tilt of the camera, we can also record the waves crashing against the rocks at the base of the cliff. As a result, the camera should benefit many members of our team over the next few years.

The biggest HIGHWAVE field trip since 2019 has taken place between 9th and 11th of June. Most of the team worked together on the very first installation of the POD on Inis Mean. This was a big job, and required a lot of hands and some intricate planning.

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This is now exactly two years since I started surveying the Aran Islands with my backpack in a desperate search for a place to build a scientific mobile research station. Highwave is not a conventional research project with a few sensors deployed and swiftly recovered to retrieve a set of data that a group of scientific can digest it over a decade. It's a long term research project with real time cloud data of all kind and countless hours of supercomputer calculation bolted to the edge of a cliff... Two years and a pandemic later, there are several ways to look into Highwave

With the pandemic restrictions finally being eased, it was possible to arrange a field trip for a few team members. Claire and Tatjana have joined Arnaud on the island on 13 and 14 May to work on the new weather station.

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The Mobile Research Station (MRS) arrived on Inis Meaín at the end of August 2020. Today, the interior of the station has a working space, power outlet, and heating. For the time being, the power comes from two sources: solar panels and a generator. The wind turbine has been delivered and will be installed shortly. The mast on top of the MRS, which has lightning protection, hosts the antenna that was installed recently.

This Friday we did some preliminary tests using another antenna located 18 kilometres away! With help from Marine Engineer Michèal O`Conghaile who is now well used to work with our Sr Research Engineer, it was possible to survey the area, we examined the existing radio link to avoid interferences in the future. 

In a few weeks our very own  private encrypted microwave radio link to the mainland will provide the necessary connection between the research pods, the MRS, Basecamp, and finally make its way to the drive, where it will be accessible by everyone working on the project. 

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mobile research stationSince the mobile research station and the mobile workshop have  arrived at Inis Méaín in  August 2020, a lot of progress has been  made.  This amazing progress is due to the hard work of the project  engineer, Arnaud, and the help from the people of the island.

This was my first trip to the island, after working at Basecamp,  almost a year ago. It was amazing to see how much the project infrastructure has developed, and I was eager to do some hands-on work.

I have arrived on the island at midday, and almost constantly experienced the islands hospitality. After getting of the ferry, I was straight away asked by the locals if I needed help, or a lift, and if everything was ok. I was welcomed to the island by Arnaud, who had already spent most of the week on the island. First, we stopped at the mobile workshop, where I got the grand tour - discovering the workspace, shelter area, and studying a very detailed map of Inis Méaín. We discussed the work plan for the next two days, taking the unpredictable weather into account. Next, we travelled to the mobile research station. As we arrived, a stunning rainbow appeared over Gregory's Sound, and the stone walls were 'singing' with the incredible winds. The location is not only breath-taking, it is positioned in a way that would allow collecting multiple streams of wave data: from video to vibration, and everything in between. The station is now equipped with solar panels, a generator, and a wind generator is scheduled to be installed in the coming weeks. The station is becoming a central point that will gather all the vital data and transmit it to the mainland.

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Today, our Mobile Research Module and the Workshop Module have arrived to Inis Meaín. Thanks to Rory Beatty and the crew of MV Chateau-Thierry, we have crossed over to the Aran Islands the most important pieces of engineering of our research project. The containers are loaded with instruments and all sorts of tools that will be needed for our project. For the past few days basecamp was like Cap Canaveral before the launch of a space mission... We tried not to forget anything we would be needing over the coming weeks.

Patrick Faherty on the island of Inis Meaín has accepted to host our containers for the forthcoming years. He took personnaly in charge the containers upon arrival. Our project is receiving strong support from the island community.