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.


But how does all this work? Does a member of the team have to get into the POD every time they wish to record something?

The short answer is no.

The longer answer involves the hard work of the group engineer, Arnaud. With his expertise, the POD has been connected to the internet so our team members have access to record whenever they want and wherever they are. An antenna inside the POD connects to our Wireless Maritime Area Network (WMAN). This new technique is called SeaFi. The antennas on each device, such as our weather stations or the POD, allow us to send data over the SeaFi network and the POD is one element among many others.


Our WMAN connects back to the mainland via our Research Module, can you imagine, it's a 20 km microwave radio link over the sea all the way to our basecamp in Connemara and then all the way again to UCD. A sophisticated security was set up to create a private intranet for our research team members. Only approved researchers can access our camera and our images in real time from anywhere in the world. Enjoying the beautiful coast of Inis Meain from the office certainly brings research to an all new level all together. This is particularly useful as most of our team is based in Dublin and in the future there will be some based in Paris!

Uploading a video to HIGHWAVE cloud

The WMAN means we can login in and hit record on the camera for anything up to a few hours at a time. We then press another button to upload the recording to our database and we can look back on the video whenever we need. An added bonus of this WMAN is that we can also access real time data from our weather station and seismometer from our desks in Dublin. Hopefully, in the future, some more instruments can be added.

Caution: Please do not try and feature in our videos as the cliff edge the POD is installed on is dangerous and we would not want anyone getting hurt!