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    Nest float blessing at Cawthron Institute

    New technology that will help Ngāti Rārua get hourly data on sea temperature is about to be deployed on our mussel farms.

    Ahead of the deployment, the project team gathered at Cawthron Institute to bless the buoys and acknowledge the partnership and the mahi that has gone in to making this technology possible, including funding from SfTI, the National Science Challenge.

    The nest float buoys contain some innovative solutions designed and constructed in Whakatū. A line of temperature sensors is suspended in the water beneath the float. These feed into a data logger and small cellular modem in a unit on the buoy, which sends 15-minute readings into the database each hour.

    The unit is powered by solar panels and batteries which means maintenance is low. In addition, modified navigational lights also send data back to shore with GPS location and confirmation that the lights are working as expected. This helps reduce maintenance and the need for in-person visits.

    Many of the parts are custom-designed and 3D printed.

    The data gathered will add to and complement our mātauranga and help us monitor the health of the wai and make decisions on timing and placement of mussels for harvest.

    The data unit is encased in marine perspex designed for submarines so it keeps the electronics weatherproof.
    The buoys are solar powered, and are deigned to provide power even in the toughest conditions.

    Richard Liddicoat

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    Nest float blessing at Cawthron Institute