AXYS Technologies (AXYS) mooring secures weather buoy in the vast and inhospitable Southern Ocean.

April 25, 2007

Stanford University relied on AXYS’ 30 years of marine meteorological buoy mooring experience to support the successful deployment of the Stanford Very Low Frequency (VLF) buoy in the Southern Ocean, more than 1,200km south of New Zealand.  The voyage to the offshore station encountered 60 knot winds and 14m seas which ultimately saw the VLF buoy moored in 4,900m of water.

The Stanford VLF buoy is one of the world’s most remote buoy stations and will conduct space weather monitoring of the Earth’s magnetic field for the next two years.  The large 3m diameter, 5 tonne buoy is secured by the AXYS designed and manufactured 6,800m custom synthetic mooring – the equivalent of 70 soccer fields in length.  The 8 tonne anchor consisting of train wheels and 108m of heavy chain, took more than 30 minutes to freefall to the seabed.  Design specifications call for a 2 year unserviced operation of the mooring system, capable of surviving seas >13m in height and winds of >70 knots.

Staging from the New Zealand capital of Wellington, the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA) Tangaroa carried 5 scientific researchers and one AXYS Field Service Specialist plus the regular crew of 12.  The roundtrip took 13 days, with 3 days spent at the 540 South deployment site.

Terms of the sale are confidential and have not been provided.

Located between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of Silicon Valley, Stanford University is recognized as one of the world’s leading research and teaching institutions.  For further information on the Stanford VLF buoy project please visit


AXYS Technologies Inc. designs, manufactures, distributes and maintains remote environmental data acquisition, processing and telemetry systems.  For further information contact AXYS at: or