A marine observation device known as Sailbuoy is scheduled to tackle a scientific mission to monitor a set of meteorological and bio-chemical variables over the almost nine hundred nautical miles that separate the island of Gran Canaria from the island of Sao Vicente in Cape Verde.

he mission forms part of the AtlantOS and MARCET projects, under the technical and operational supervision of the Canary Island Oceanic Platform. Sailbuoy will be sailing for several weeks, depending on the surface currents and winds that it encounters on its voyage through the waters of Macaronesia between the Canary Islands and Cape Verde.

Sailbuoy, designed by Offshore Sensing, consists of a small-sized, autonomous platform that has the look and the components of a sail boat, allowing it to harness the wind as a source of propulsion, and it can cover long distances over the ocean, thanks to a precise positioning and navigation system. It is fitted with a set of sensors to measure both atmospheric variables (wind, air temperature, humidity and air pressure) and oceanographic variables (water temperature, conductivity, pigments, turbidity, dissolved oxygen and hydrocarbons) that are transmitted in real time by a two-way, satellite telemetry system, which is also used by the pilot to send the device instructions when needed and to monitor the operational status of the vessel at all times.


A multi-disciplinary group of European and American scientists has set out on an oceanographic campaign aboard the German research vessel RV/Maria S. Merian to study the physical and bio-geo-chemical characterisation of the outstanding ecosystem of the Senghor Sea Mount located to the north of the Cape Verde Archipelago, and to assess the operational response and capability of new, autonomous oceanic observation technologies in real operational scenarios.

An underwater glider has been put into operation in Madeira archipelago waters by a group of technical specialists from PLOCAN, in collaboration with scientists and technicians from Madeira Ocean Observatory (OOM) and Instituto Hidrográfico Portuguese Navy on board the ship NRP-Zaire of the Portuguese Navy.

The initiative is framed into the EU-project AtlantOS-H2020, which PLOCAN participates as a partner, as regional contribution to international programs and the European Strategy on Atlantic Ocean Observation, fostered through the Macaronesian Marine-Maritime Monitoring Network (R3M).

Underwater glider P201 from the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN) has been recovered from the waters to the north of Gran Canaria by the offshore patrol vessel Meteoro of the Spanish Navy, having completed its oceanographic research mission in the waters of Macaronesia.

The mission of P201 began in Madeira and lasted for one month, during which the underwater glider travelled more than 400 nautical miles and made 500 dives to 1000 m depth, in the process collecting 1.5 million data points for each of the biogeochemical seawater parameters being measured.

Experts from PLOCAN have been working on the island of Sao Miguel in cooperation with staff from both the Port Authority of Azores and the Hydrographic Institute (IH) of Portugal. They have carried out maintenance and upgrades to some of the water-monitoring devices in the port of Ponta Delgada that are part of the Macaronesian Marine and Maritime Network (R3M) in the Azores.

The upgraded device (oceanographic station 703) integrates a set of sensors for real-time measurements of biogeochemical seawater parameters (turbidity, conductivity, dissolved oxygen and temperature). It was installed in September 2015 next to a tide gauge that is part of the Portuguese national network, in order to expand the R3M’s observational capacity and further strengthen collaboration between the Ports of the Azores, IH and PLOCAN in the Azores archipelago.

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