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Underwater passive aquatic listening network system for smart monitoring of high impact weather events - myPAL-NET

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - myPAL-NET (Underwater passive aquatic listening network system for smart monitoring of high impact weather events - myPAL-NET)

Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2020-03-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in support of Earth Observation applications indicates that “there are four major met-ocean application areas that critically depend on accurate observations of met-ocean parameters: (a) Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP); (b) Sub-seasonal to longer predictions; (c) Met-Ocean Forecasts and Services (MOFS), including marine services and ocean mesoscale forecasting; and (d) climate applications and services. The WMO’s Observational Requirements seeks more frequent real-time observations (at least every three hours) with better spatial-resolution (50%) and accuracy (100%) and timeliness better than three hours for Global NWP. In general, WMO have stated the general need for the development of new buoys with increased accuracy, stability and reliable wind, wave, temperature, salinity and precipitation sensors, otherwise, there is an increase risk of disaster from the failure to predict adverse weather from NWP and failure of climate-change mitigation and adaption from climate models. The high demand in cost of maintenance and special construction of such systems that are covering only one point and not larger area and they are subject to large inaccuracies introducing low reliable data due to: high salt concentration on the sensors, extreme weather conditions at sea, accumulation of marine microorganisms (biofouling) in sensor bodies, high energy consumption and thus discontinuous operation, having as a consequence of spatio-temporal discontinuities of the measurements due to their limited geographical dispersal. The Panel also recognizes the need for research to quantify the impact of buoy observations on NWP and established a pilot project to conduct such studies.”
The technological challenge is to meet the above-mentioned needs of the WMO and marine sensor technology with one single passive acoustic system. To this direction the main technological challenges are summarized to the following: (a) high energy demand, which reduces the time of independent operation; (b) simple recorders without on-board analysis of the measurements; (c) no low-duty cycle recording therefore limited continuous deployments (1-3 months); (d) low processing power, therefore; (e) limited on-board measurement analysis, so (f) no near-real or real-time data transferring to the user.
Since no such equipment, with the above mentioned extremely specific technical characteristics, is found in the market, the myPAL-NET aims not only at an effective addressing of the above needs but an efficient solution, for a quiet and clean versatile ocean environment, introducing a revolutionary solution in the growing market of the marine industry.
Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far
1. All the involved key factors in both the two SMEs (HORST and A2Z) have been proven skilful and experienced, able to work effectively on the development of the proposed technology.
2. Selective collaborators, suppliers and potential customers have been highlighted in a long list of them after numerous live and online sessions taken place during the 6-minth duration of this project.
3. The real needs of potential customers have been recorded and common ground for a fruitful cooperation has been found.
4. A well-defined development team has been organized, able to analyse the technological difficulties in a continuously varying market.
5. A properly equipped electronic laboratory has been designed, based on a modular logic for expandable production lines, able for the in-house production of the proposed technology.
6. According to some primary laboratory tests a maximum reduction in energy demand will be succeeded, which is one of the main goals of the proposed technology, in order long-term autonomous operation to be ensured.
7. Based on well-defined and mutually prosperous MOUs with potential suppliers it seems that low cost supplies may be secured leading to low cost production of the proposed innovative technology.
Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)
The myPAL-NET proposed project goes beyond the current state-of-the-art with:
1. A new design, of a highly sensitive sensor “listening” to a wideband, meeting all the needs for direct measuring various meteorological quantities, operating at lower energy demand and encapsulated in a durable and protected housing.
2. A network (first of a kind), comprising of at least three (3) myPAL sensors, installed on three (3) small cost-effective floating buoys, totally powered by renewable energy sources devices (see section 4-5, Figure 1c).
3. A mother buoy, totally powered by renewable energy sources devices (without the use of in house large expensive batteries), operating cost effectively as a hub between the above mentioned three (3) small buoys and acting as a main station for the data transmission to the shore, providing for a first time cost-effective real-time monitoring of the ocean environment.
4. A new measuring method using in-situ quantitative pre-processed data, ensuring the interoperability of the whole system, and the standardization of data on multiple stationary and mobile platforms, harmonized with data handling of international organizations (i.e. COPERNICUS).
5. A new proprietary software based on the afore-mentioned method.
6. myPAL-NET could be placed anywhere (doesn’t need any special constructions), will need just couple hours to install it (even by a small fishing boat), operates silently and we can design it to fit in any environment.
Until the end of the project we expected the following results:
1. Market analysis: in-depth entry market demand in Greece, UK, France, Germany and Italy, detailed competitor technology analyses, environment and regulatory requirements, expansion potentials to: a) other countries (e.g. USA, China) and key value propositions (local partnerships), b) space and defense industries (reselling “smart” algorithm in Phase 3).
2. Cooperation analysis: sales channels building, further contacts with distributors WeMET P.C. Metrica S.A. and local partners A2ZEnergy P.C. networking with suppliers, manufacturing and distribution partners to define terms and of cooperation.
3. Functional tests of improved analogue filters and microprocessor for less power consumption. Development and first testing of advanced “smart” algorithm with CNR-ISSA and HCMR and Harokopio University of Athens.
4. Define innovation plan for Phase 2, detailed plan to develop myPAL-NET and establish bases for mass manufacturing in EU.
5. Risk assessment of project implementation. Reconsidering regulatory myPAL-NET guidelines to speed up commercialization.
6.Meetings with potential public and private clients to obtain letters of support, present benefits, establish communication channels and sales model. Further develop pricing strategy, including complimentary services to be offered using a subscription model.
7. Financial strategy analysis: secure complementary financing for tech development and R&D / production center in EU, identification of investors in EU, USA and China. Planning Phase 3 investor meetings, pitch deck preparation.
8. Defining management and company structure, policies (incl. gender) and operational rules for fast growth scenario.
9. IP management & strategy: detailed IP/Branding strategy, establishment of IP portfolio and action plan, IP monetization strategy.
The main policy and governance frameworks related to the marine monitoring along with their relevance to myPAL/myPAL-NET are the following:
1. Integrated Marine Policy
2. Integrated Industrial Policy
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