Title: Real-time environmental monitoring of the Great Barrier Reef

Authors: Adam B. Ruxton, Graham S. Woods, Gilles Gigan, Cameron R. Huddlestone-Holmes

Addresses: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia. ' Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia. ' Department of Information Technology, School of Mathematics, Physics and IT, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia. ' James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia

Abstract: The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is the largest natural feature on earth, stretching more than 2300 km along the northeast coast of Australia. It contains a diverse array of species and habitats that are threatened by environmental and human impacts. Monitoring environmental changes would give a better understanding of the health of this ecological system. It would also help shape decision-making to ensure this important natural asset is protected into the future. This paper investigates how environmental information can be collected and brought back to the mainland from the GBR. A novel method of using the evaporation duct above the ocean surface to tunnel radio signals beyond the horizon is proposed for the link to the mainland, and the design of a hybrid power supply is also outlined. A monitoring network for use on Davies Reef, approximately 80 km off the coast of northern Queensland, is used as a case study in this paper.

Keywords: evaporation duct; ocean communications; radio propagation; hybrid power supply; wind power; Great Barrier Reef; solar power; solar energy; wind energy; Australia; real-time monitoring; environmental monitoring; environmental technology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJETM.2009.021575

International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management, 2009 Vol.10 No.1, pp.26 - 35

Published online: 30 Nov 2008 *

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