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Enabling Precision Aquaculture with multi-variable real-time sensing and Copernicus Earth Observation data

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Undersee (Enabling Precision Aquaculture with multi-variable real-time sensing and Copernicus Earth Observation data)

Período documentado: 2019-07-01 hasta 2019-12-31

Sustainable aquaculture alone cannot meet the growing demand for fish in Europe, where 57% of seafood consumed is currently imported. Precision fish farming and new technology are required to fully realise aquaculture’s potential. Undersee will provide a scalable and easy to use plug-and-play integrated solution to monitor and collect aquaculture data from Copernicus Earth Observation forecasts combined with in-situ water quality data. The solution can be used by fish-farmers to prevent production losses and optimise fish feeding and growth. Among other features, users will access predictions about dissolved oxygen for the upcoming days and early warnings via SMS or email about possible algae blooms threats or severe oxygen depletion events.
Users will have easy access to a daily management tool that is intended to supply the site manager with relevant and timely information, to make informed management decisions based on actionable data.
We started our first pilot in a pre-commercialisation phase in April 2019, for environmental monitoring of the Tagus Estuary in Lisbon to install the UNDERSEE_water device system in a passenger boat which navigates in a daily basis in the river. The pilot was succesfully activated in December 2019, and the boat will stay collecting water quality data to our cloud platform for 18 months and the customer will use the data to validate numerical models on water quality in the river.

During the Phase 1 our team conducted several interviews with potential customers and partners mainly in Portugal, Spain and Norway. We received Letters of Intent from potential customers from the relevant european stakeholders, both from aquaculture producers and environmental agencies. The UNDERSEE project was presented along with 12 other innovators on the main stage of the Aquaculture Innovation Summit in London, UK and our team attended the event AQUANOR at Trondheim, Norway. In both events, we had the opportunity to communicate our vision and get the firts engagement and interest from potential distributors of our service, which could be a great possibility for us in the future.

Phase 1 allowed us to test the market, to deeply study the technical and economic feasibility of our service and to plan the next steps carefully.
UNDERSEE envision to be the water data service provider leader with focus on Portuguese and European markets with a scalable solution that can be used globally. UNDERSEE is developing an end-to-end service with an integrated offering of hardware, software, installation and customer support, based on a Connected Product-as-a-Service model where customers subscribe for the usage of the product (subscription fee) and automated decision-making tools.

In-situ water data collected with an easy-to-install device equipped with water quality sensors, easily adapted to boats, buoys or aquaculture cages -, the UNDERSEE_water. The in-situ data combined with satellite observations and forecasting tools are integrated and visualized in a cloud-platform - the UNDERSEE_cloud.

The UNDERSEE_water system is the first Portuguese ´FerryBox´ system and is similar to those used in Ships of Opportunity programs, where ships are equipped with flow-through systems (usually called 'Ferryboxes'). It consists in a bypass circuit of water to the boat main hydraulic system, where all sensors needed are implemented. These systems are usually operated by Research Centres in the framework of funding programs.

The UNDERSEE_water system have the following advantages comparing with traditional ´Ferryboxes´: 1) Smaller and lighter; 2) Plug and Play solution much simpler to install and operate; 3) Adaptable to boats, buoys and aquaculture cages; 4) Reduced cost compared with existing systems; 5) Low sensor maintenance requirements.