Monitoring Buoy


Funding: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
Partner: BSH - Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie
Duration: 12/2016 – 05/2021


The project will cover the development of a monitoring buoy from the initial design concept up to the prototype phase with subsequent validation in a field test. The buoy will record the water profile’s oceanographic data and meteorological wind data in a profile up to a height of 200 meters. The combination of these two measuring techniques will make it possible to compile a comprehensive database for the offshore wind industry for the very first time. The wind measurements will be performed by a LiDAR wind measuring device integrated in the buoy and capable of measuring wind at different heights by means of laser beams. The sensor chain is equipped with current measuring devices at different depths as well as measuring equipment to record the salt, oxygen levels and the temperature. Additionally, information on the nutrients available, pH, and radioactivity at different depths is also recorded. The buoy is intended for long-term measurements and flexible deployments.

Planning authorities in the exclusive economic zone will be able to use this data, as will weather forecasting services and companies involved in the planning of offshore wind farms. The median wind speed at the height of the wind turbines’ nacelles is a decisive factor for yield forecasts and system design when planning wind farms. The oceanographic data are of crucial importance in matters such as foundation design, sediment transport, and wave loads.