THRISSUR: The ocean data buoy system installed by the Department of Physical Oceanography of Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) in the Cochin estuary has started relaying real-time data on various water-quality parameters, including temperature and salinity. The real-time retrieval of the data from the buoy was inaugurated by Cusat vice-chancellor K N Madhusoodanan at the School of Marine Sciences on Tuesday.
The buoy was deployed by the scientific team led by the department’s R Sajeev and V Vijith on December 7. Sajeev said the system has state-of-the-art water-quality sensors and can be used in a variety of natural environments such as estuaries and near-shore water.
“The system will transfer real-time data every 10 minutes via GPRS to a receiving station at the department. Such a system has been installed in the state for the first time,” said Sajeev. He said the system was installed utilising the financial aid received under the National Higher Education Mission (Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan) and the Seed Money for New Research Initiative by Cusat.
“The department aims to develop a permanent station in the estuary and generate long-term data sets for scientific research,” said Sajeev. He said the very high-resolution data will be useful in studying physical and chemical variability of the estuary. “It can be used to validate models used for predicting weather. The targeted application of such system comprises different perspectives, including marine pollution, bio-geochemical monitoring and modelling, impacts of climate change, ecosystem conservation and restoration and public health,” he said.
Data accessibility also plays an important role in informing and educating people about the variability in water quality, Sajeev added. Under the programme, the department will train MSc, MTech and research students in handling deployment and retrievals, said Sajeev. On installing such buoys in other areas, Sajeev said, “If funds are available, we will deploy more buoys in near-shore waters.”