MRS RM

Today, our Mobile Research Module and the Workshop Module have arrived to Inis Meaín. Thanks to Rory Beatty and the crew of MV Chateau-Thierry, we have crossed over to the Aran Islands the most important pieces of engineering of our research project. The containers are loaded with instruments and all sorts of tools that will be needed for our project. For the past few days basecamp was like Cap Canaveral before the launch of a space mission... We tried not to forget anything we would be needing over the coming weeks.

Patrick Faherty on the island of Inis Meaín has accepted to host our containers for the forthcoming years. He took personnaly in charge the containers upon arrival. Our project is receiving strong support from the island community.

 

Having joined the HIGHWAVE project as a post-doc in October 2019 I unfortunately missed the group field trip that year. Therefore, two weeks ago, on Thursday 20th August, I took my first drive to Connemara and met Arnaud, the project engineer, at the basecamp just outside Rossaveel. We spoke about the coming two days and what we had planned. We planned to spend the rest of Thursday on the mainland and Friday on Inis Meáin.

Mini PODPortable Observation Devices or POD for short is our response to hMaxi PODostile environment, salt, wind, rain when it comes to observe waves and record data near the edge of the cliffs. JFC Marine in Tuam has accepted to help us manufacturing from recycled plastic a robust sustainable reinforced shelter for our instruments.

Our PODs will come in two different flavours, MINI and MAXI, more on this soon... keep tuned...

IMG 20200716 120404 PANO

As part of my PhD training, I had the opportunity to visit the Basecamp,  located in the west coast of Ireland. The main goal of this visit was to get familiar with the key places where we plan to deploy sensors and instruments to measure breaking waves and their impact on cliffs. The visit also allowed me to be introduced to the new terms and concepts regarding wireless communication, an essential part of the HIGHWAVE project.

 

After several weeks of bad weather, we are finally getting an opportunity to head to Rock Island (North West tip of Inis Mór). We have chartered MFV Sean Maír and her skipper Arek. We will be testing today for the first time our new Spotter manufactured by Sofar Ocean in the US. These miniature databuoy have all the features of the large metbuoys. We intend to assess the scientific worthiness of this instrument over a period of six months. We have aquired two spotters nicknamed WANDERER and EXPLORER. According the the manufacturer and the Commissionners of Irish Lights (CIL) we are first bringing these buoys to Ireland.

Part of the HIGHWAVE project is to harvest real-time data in situ to build more robust and accurate models.

rosnamhil 1Analysing the data is one part of the job, but harvesting it is another and a very important one. When one spends time at the desk in the office, it can be very beneficial to go and see and participate in data gathering.

The process is not as easy as some might imagine. There is a vast amount of preparation that comes even before going out and collecting measurements. Good spots need to be picked; therefore, the area needs to be explored. Instruments must be assembled and tailored to suit the environment. Every detail can become crucial once in the field. From right location for the weather station, to preventing the camera lens getting rain and sea water drops on it.

Mobile Research Station StoreHighwave Mobile Workshop Module (MWM) is an essential component of Highwave MRS. Based a few kilometers away, at walkable distance from ferry port on the Aran Island, it moves with the research station. Energetically autonomous, the MWM is equipped with solar panels, wind turbine and a 7 kw standby diesel generator. The container will also be equipped heavy tools such as pilar drill, welding equipment, tool chests, electronic & soldering kits. A galey will offer a very minimalistic yet recomforting space to shelter when from the cold in winter.

It's also a garage for our Suzuki 750cc Kingquad, real heavy weight worker, a.k.a. "the donkey" the quad will be used to move around the island equipment such as batteries, intruments, telecoms, etc...