July 11, 2012

Paper on Racha Observatory presented at ICRS

Our paper: Sensor Networks Applications for Reefs at Racha Island, Thailand was published and presented at the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium in Cairns, Australia.

Remote coral reef islands present a series of challenges for deploying coral reef sensor networks. This paper presents the experience of deploying sensor networks at Racha Yai Island in southern Thailand. Racha Yai Island is far offshore of Phuket and so the island suffers very little from sediment loads from Phuket. It is one of the most popular tourist sites for SCUBA/Snorkel activities in Phuket. It presents a logistically challenging environment for both researchers and instruments because it is characterised by large but shallow bays, storms, and occasional power and internet outages. The island's coral ecosystem consists of hard and soft corals with many marine resources.

So far serious impacts on the ecosystem have included the 2004 tsunami, a major bleaching event in May 2010, and heavy tourist traffic from both snorkeling and SCUBA. In response to the bleaching event, a sensor network was installed in early 2011 to provide future real time information about events. The system installed includes an underwater camera, two shore cameras, a CTD, multiple HOBO temp/light sensors, G sensors and two Davis weather stations. Data are streamed through multiple DataTurbine servers and put into in-house data servers in several formats after cleaning with data quality tests including statistical ones.

The data are then available on-line through a public outreach site. This site is part of CREON (Coral Reef Environmental Observatory Network) and is under consideration for inclusion in the International Long Term Ecological Research (ILTER) Network.

Read the full paper.