Smart Marina Minds Sea Level And Weather Conditions

Sensors Insights by Alicia Asín


One of the major problems for captains of vessels, especially during summer, is the absence of a marina's reservation mechanisms. In fact, sometimes it is not possible to plan a trip by boat without securing the position where it will be stationed throughout the course of the tour route.

Greek start-up SaMMY, financed by the Fiware Accelerator European Commission FrontierCities, rises up to address these needs detected in Greek ports. They have developed an application to become the ultimate fellow traveler for yachters, skippers, and marina administrators. It supports e-booking services, navigational and parking assistance features and mobile guidance to the nearby coastal areas.

The pilot project, deployed in Patras port yachting area with Libelium's Waspmote Plug & Sense! Sensor Platform, has been implemented to modernize the operation of marinas with the installation of a wireless sensor network to monitor mooring berths, measuring the sea water level and observing the weather conditions.

Fig. 1: Patras Port in Greece
Fig. 1: Patras Port in Greece

Sensors Modernize Marinas

The project, carried out by Libelium and SaMMY, will fill a huge gap in marina services, but will also open a channel for a smarter communication with the world of marine tourism, which conquers constantly new territories and searches for smarter tools. A sensor network has been deployed to monitor mooring berths as well as sea and environment conditions.

Fig. 2: Sensors and gateway installed in Patras port
Fig. 2: Sensors and gateway installed in Patras port

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This project consists of a collection of several parameters to solve different issues related to the marina. For that, three different kinds of sensor platforms using a wide range of sensors have been installed, thereby building a wireless infrastructure:

  • Waspmote Plug & Sense! Smart Water: is used to control the water quality that is measured by a pH calibration kit and Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP) with calibration solution. Water quality is important to make decisions regarding the water-flow rate to the port and the presence of people at the mooring berths.
  • Waspmote Plug & Sense! Smart Security: is used to detect the height of the sea surface and the height to reach the port using the Liquid Level sensor probe and the Presence sensor (PIR) probe. It is important to make decisions regarding the water-flow rate to the port.
  • Waspmote Plug & Sense! Smart Cities: this node has a double mission. On one hand, it is used to monitor weather conditions using a temperature sensor probe and a humidity sensor probe. On the other hand, it monitors the vessels presence in berths and the berth positions and it is controlled by an ultrasound sensor probe.
  • The communication protocol used to connect Waspmote Plug & Sense! Sensor Platform with the Meshlium Gateway is TCP/IP 802.15.4. Fiware technologies are used for the Cloud services and a dedicated agent, Node.js, for communication with the Meshlium.

Fig. 3: Patras port deployment, yacht-management through data
Fig. 3: Patras port deployment, yacht-management through data

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The wireless sensor network installed in the marina allows marina personnel to monitor and manage mooring berths. Thanks to the measurements provided by this application deployed by SaMMY, it enables an online contact and reservation mechanism that improves the way they operate, ensuring the comfort of ship passengers.

Apart from the features inherent to the port, the SaMMY application brings others related to the hosting of the boat marinas. It provides information on nearby points of interest as well as the common services of interest for travelers and crews.

"This way the marinas provide important information to the yachters; the marinas administrators have a clear view of the status of the berths, improving this way the quality of the services and the scheduling of the yachting trips", considers Ioannis Kostopoulos, SaMMY CEO.

The SaMMY project has developed a unique marina application that is becoming a modern communication and information tool for skippers, crews of tourist vessels, and port managers. The application for end-users is available for free for smart phones and mobile devices with Android or IOS operating systems.

Fig. 4: Mobile version of SaMMY application
Fig. 4: Mobile version of SaMMY application

Overall

The nautical tourism market, especially as it involves yachting and marinas, is very dynamic. They contribute significantly to the development of local economies of Mediterranean countries and Northern Europe cities. According to the European Commission, activities around yachting generate an annual turnover of 15 billion Euros providing more than 303,000 jobs.

The pilot project, carried out by Libelium and SaMMY, could be deployed in other marinas of the Mediterranean sea during the following months. The platform has already been presented in conferences in Greece, Italy, Spain, and Belgium with great success.

About the Author

Alicia Asín is CEO and co-founder of Libelium, the wireless sensor hardware provider. Alicia is a computer engineer focused on how IoT can change our world, starting with Smart Cities and smart agriculture. She is a frequent speaker at international conferences on issues related to Smart Cities, wireless sensor networks, and IoT. Recognized for achievements in business and technology, she was named best business manager in Foreign Trade (ADEA 2011) and is the first woman to receive the National Young Entrepreneur Award at the 2014 meeting of the Spanish Confederation of Young Entrepreneurs (CEAJE).

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