Halifax Marine Research Institute

SmartATLANTIC deploys its first inshore weather buoy to support Halifax port operations and scientific research


The first SmartATLANTIC Inshore Weather Buoy was successfully deployed on November 7, 2013 in Herring Cove by the Canadian Coast Guard vessel CCGS Sir William Alexander. This technologically savvy “smart” buoy is bright yellow, three metres in diameter and weighs in excess of 1.5 metric tonnes.

The SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy is a scientific ODAS buoy (Ocean Data Acquisition System). It is an important new weather forecasting tool and platform for scientific research/education. Data transmitted from the SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy will be used to generate – for the first time in Halifax – real-time high resolution weather and wave forecasting.

The SmartATLANTIC Herring Covey Buoy project is a great example of Canadian science and technology providing economic benefits to Atlantic Canadians, improving safety for mariners, and supplying better information for use by research partners and policy makers. It will:

  • provide accurate and timely information for marine users of the Port of Halifax
  • significantly improve safety and efficiency of port operations
  • be a working example of the Canadian Coast Guard’s e-Navigation initiative
  • aid Search and Rescue operations in the harbour approaches
  • benefit fishers, recreational boaters and the public

Meteorological and oceanographic data transmitted from the buoy will also be used in ocean/climate research regionally, nationally andinternationally.

The SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy is a joint initiative of:

  • Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association
  • Halifax Marine Research Institute
  • Atlantic Pilotage Authority
  • Halifax Port Authority
  • MEOPAR
  • Canadian Coast Guard.

Operation of the buoy, data analysis, and forecasting will also involve the Marine Institute (St. John’s, NL), and AMEC Environment & Infrastructure (Dartmouth, NS).

Start-up funding is being provided by Transport Canada, the Nova Scotia Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, and MEOPAR, in addition to in-kind contributions from AMEC Environment & Infrastructure, the Canadian Coast Guard and Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association. The Atlantic Pilotage Authority and the HalifaxPort Authority have committed to fund the annual operating and maintenance costs (estimated at a total of $120,000 per year) for a period of 10 years.

SmartATLANTIC Inshore Weather Buoy from Darrow Multimedia – Paul Darrow on Vimeo.

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