The idea for this project started with a simple sketch in my Maker’s Notebook. After building and testing a wave energy converter for a college engineering project, I wanted to apply what I had learned about building ocean buoys and see if I could make a remote ocean weather monitoring station. In addition to temperature and salinity sensors I also wanted to integrate an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) into the system to measure the size and period of ocean waves. Essentially, I envisioned would be a DIY version of a NOAA data buoy for citizen scientists or hobbyists. Tyler and I have experience using arduino micrcontrollers, so I hope it should be fairly straight forward to combine a temperature sensor, salinity sensor and data logging unit together with some code.
After searching the internet, I found a few more ideas and came up with a hand drawn sketch of the basic circuit with all the sensors and parts I thought we might want to to use. We are still researching the specific parts, we hope to purchase most of these components as either breakout-boards or pre-assembled arduino shields later this week, and try to piece together a prototype over the winter break as a proof of concept. With lots of information out there from people who have already built similar projects, I imagine that we will go through several designs before finding an optimal combination of sensors and components, but at least this is a start.