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How to transfer wave/current data from offshore sites to shore at an affordable price

5 May 2017

We often see that customers believe transferring data via satellite from offshore sites to shore to be far more expensive than is actually the case. This is in particular relevant to address when it comes to wave and current data from for example installation and operation of offshore wind farms, because this misunderstanding can mean that cost-effective solutions such as buoys are dismissed as wave and current data acquisition platforms.

The benefits gained from choosing a wave buoy that allows for sending data to shore via satellite (Iridium) at a reduced price are plenty. A buoy will ensure a setup saving you not only costs but also man-hours, as data retrieval will not have to rely on your team going to the site.

Iridium satellite communication is one possible transmission type and is available at the cost of only $ 1 per KB, depending on the service provider. This can of course still amount to a significant cost if it is raw data that is being sent to shore. However, this can be avoided if the acquired wave and current data is processed on site by the internal CPU of the wave buoy. This translates into a very compact data protocol and thus vastly reduced communication costs.

From $ 10,000 per month to only $ 435 per month

The ToughBoy Panchax wave buoy solution allows you to do just this. We have seen data buoy satellite communication costs going from $ 10,000 per month to only $ 435 per month by switching to the ToughBoy Panchax wave buoy using Iridium satellite communication, with a typical configuration ensuring regular ADCP/wave data.


SensorInterval (min)Data
Wave30Height (Hm0, Hmax, H1/10, H1/3)
Period (Tp, Tz, Tav)
Direction (Dp, Dm)
ADCP30Current ~10 bins (East,North,Up)
GPS30Lat Long

Example of typical configuration of the ToughBoy Panchax wave buoy

All communication types allow for remote configuration and monitoring

Regardless which type of communication you choose, this will also allow for remote configuration and monitoring of the ToughBoy Panchax wave buoy via web-based software. This will result in additional cost savings in connection with onsite configuration. In other words, not only will you have the buoy data you need instantly, you’ll also be able to adjust settings online as desired.

ToughBoy Panchax various communication types

A ToughBoy Panchax solutions allows for various communication types

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