Accessing the data collected by marine sensing devices is traditionally an expensive process. Typically, data transmission occurs via satellite, a powerful solution that is limited by high costs; to send 200 kb worth of data via Iridium, for example, expenses can exceed $100.
Spotter 3, the third generation of Sofar’s Spotter buoy platform, offers a new alternative. Each device is outfitted with an onboard cellular modem, which makes it possible to transfer data using existing global cellular infrastructure. These cellular transfers enable Spotter 3 to send 1000x more data at a fraction of the cost via the new High Data Rate (HDR) mode. In nearshore environments, this:
Prior to the introduction of HDR, Spotter data could only be transmitted via satellite. To keep costs reasonable, the amount and type of data transmitted is regulated:
This approach to data transmission remains effective, particularly in the open ocean where cellular infrastructure is nonexistent. For nearshore applications, however, HDR is a more powerful and cost-effective solution.
Cellular telemetry dramatically lowers transmission costs, eliminating the need to pre-process and compress Spotter data into preset data modes. Using HDR, you can transmit full time-series data directly to the Spotter dashboard and API:
By shifting the computational load from Spotter’s onboard computer to unconstrained servers on land, HDR increases your access to data and enables more flexible and powerful analysis techniques.
If you have a Spotter 3 that is using firmware version v2.3.0 or higher, you can enable HDR mode. To do so, please email us at email@example.com.
Once enabled, the HDR processing rate can be configured on the Spotter dashboard. Data sent using HDR can be accessed via the Sofar API (see documentation) or by downloading .CSV files from the Spotter dashboard.
HDR is a significant step forward for Spotter’s ocean data collection and transmission capabilities. New analysis options, such as spectral and time partitioning, different tuning and filtering capabilities, and the removal of spikes in low energy conditions, are forthcoming.
If you have feedback about HDR, ideas for future features, or any questions, please feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.