Our solution is designed to be deployed in a location and expanded or even moved with as little impact as possible. By utilising a LoRa mesh network of inexpensive nodes we aren't limited by the size of the network or the locations of individual nodes - the network can be expanded, modified or redeployed in an entirely different location and still function.
Each node is very simple containing mainly off-the-shelf electronics, solar panels and batteries - basic maintenance can be taught in less than a day. Depending on equipment available a completely new node can be built in 1 - 2 days (3D printing of some parts being the main consumer of time).
Each node contains a 6 watt solar array (and charging circuit), 20-25 Amp hour battery pack, GPS, Microcontroller, LoRa antenna and sensors - such as a Hydrophone, but can include any sensor that can be linked to the micro-controller.
The nodes communicate over the LoRa mesh network to one (or more) network up-link node(s) which can be on land with a WiFi, GPRS or satellite connection to the internet, or on a boat or floating platform.
The network uses a self-repairing mesh so that any new nodes added to the network are automatically integrated, and should a node go offline or be lost then the network will work around the missing link until it can be repaired or replaced.
By encouraging schools, colleges and universities to build their own buoys, to be deployed in our network, we hope to highlight the problems within the deployment area / community as well as keep them engaged by enabling them to stay updated via online hangouts and to monitor their own buoy ( and the wider network ) from the classroom.