s Maritime Domain Awareness

Maritime domain awareness means having timely information about everything on, under, related to, adjacent to, or bordering a sea, ocean or other navigable waterway that could impact security, safety, the economy or the environment. This includes all related activities, infrastructure, people, cargo, vessels, or other means of transport. For marine security, it means being aware of anything in the marine domain that could threaten a country’s national security. And with over 90% of the world’s trade transported by sea, it is more critical than ever to operate secure maritime operations. 

Maritime domain awareness improves marine security by:

  • Quickly identifying actual or potential events
  • Making informed decisions
  • Taking effective action
  • Sharing knowledge with appropriate partners

AXYS offers a networked data solution to manage the specific monitoring requirements of a port security system for maritime domain awareness. Utilizing the WatchMan500 network solution and AXYS’ Data Management System (DMS) software, a complete operational picture of the maritime domain can be provided to the ports’ operational centre for the purposes of command and control. AXYS offers secure data hosting services to clients and can provide the information needed to the ports’ operational centre for real time decisions related to the maritime domain.

s Port Sentinel

The AXYS Port Sentinel™ is a self contained and fully automated environmental monitoring station, designed specifically for port and harbour environments. Real time data is displayed in the local port operations centre or as part of a Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS).

  • Typical sensor configurations deliver meteorological, oceanographic and water quality parameters to port operations staff for timely and accurate decision making.
  • The Port Sentinel™ can operate on a main power supply or a combination of solar panels & battery power.
  • Position and environmental information can be broadcast by AIS (Automated Identification System). Data transmitted from the PortSentinel™ by AIS is automatically displayed on nearby vessels equipped with ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Identification System).
  • Uses the WatchMan500™ controller to integrate sensor systems and provide onboard data processing, data logging, telemetry and diagnostic/set up routines.
  • A variety of telemetry options are available, including UHF/VHF, Inmarsat IsatData Pro, Iridium, GPRS/HSPA, CDMA/EVDO, and AIS.

s WatchKeeper Buoy

The AXYS WatchKeeper™ buoy is a 1.7m diameter polyethylene buoy designed for deployments in coastal areas, lakes, reservoirs and rivers. The WatchKeeper™ hull is internationally proven as an aid to navigation (AToN) and can be deployed in water depths from 20m to 500m.

  • Custom configurable with a wide range of sensors for monitoring meteorological, oceanographic and water quality parameters.
  • Frequently deployed in port environments to provide port operators with real time environmental data, while also acting as a traditional AtoN.
  • Uses the WatchMan500™ controller to integrate sensor systems and provide onboard data processing, data logging, telemetry and diagnostic/set up routines.
  • A variety of telemetry options are available, including Automatic Information System (AIS), UHF/VHF, Inmarsat IsatData Pro, Iridium, GPRS/HSPA and CDMA/EVDO.

s NOMAD Buoy

The AXYS NOMAD is a unique aluminum environmental monitoring buoy designed for deployments in extreme conditions. The NOMAD (Navy Oceanographic Meteorological Automatic Device) is a modified version of the 6m hull originally designed in the 1940’s for the U.S. Navy’s offshore data collection program. It has been operating in Canada’s Weather Buoy network for over 25 years and commonly experiences winter storms and hurricanes with wave heights approaching 20m.

  • Custom configurable with a wide range of sensors for monitoring meteorological, oceanographic and water quality parameters.
  • A watertight central compartment houses the electronics payload, and there are two masts for mounting meteorological sensors, telemetry hardware, solar panels and obstruction lights.
  • Uses the WatchMan500™ controller to integrate sensor systems and provide onboard data processing, data logging, telemetry and diagnostic/set up routines.
  • A variety of telemetry options are available, including UHF/VHF, Inmarsat IsatData Pro, Iridium, GPRS/HSPA and CDMA/EVDO.

s TRIAXYS with Currents Buoy

The TRIAXYS™ with Currents Buoy measures both directional waves and a 3D water column profile of ocean currents in real time. The buoy is based on the proven TRIAXYS™ Directional Wave buoy platform, but has been modified to allow the integration of a current profiler in a downward facing configuration. 

  • Uses custom Nortek Aquadopp & Teledyne RDI Workhorse ADCP’s and has a modular design allowing for ADCP swapping and easy replacement
  • The ADCP provides current speed & direction from user configurable sample periods in up to 128 layers of the water column
  • Provides continuous wave sampling, support for any telemetry, up to 10 Hz motion sampling and up to 32GB (>5 years) of data logging capacity.
  • The WatchMan500 processor integrates sensor systems and provides onboard data processing, data logging, telemetry, and diagnostic/set up routines.
  • Power is derived from 4 rechargeable batteries connected to solar panels
  • Standard mooring configurations specially designed for wave and current buoys are available for water depths up to 300m.
  • A variety of telemetry options are available, including UHF/VHF, Inmarsat IsatData Pro, Iridium and HSPA Cellular.
  • Can be configured with AIS Aid to Navigation to broadcast buoy position and weather information to local vessel traffic

s Custom Projects

Many of AXYS’ standard products are customized to meet the client’s specific monitoring requirements, however occasionally AXYS gets a request for an altogether new monitoring solution that requires an innovative custom design.

Custom NOMAD Instrumentation Buoy

Following a thorough analysis of the project’s monitoring requirements, AXYS will design a system that meets all the criteria. Rigorous project management and quality assurance methodology are followed according to an established process in order to ensure that the final system meets the client’s needs. The AXYS Services team is able to provide training on every system delivered, as well as commissioning and deployment assistance.

Examples of some custom monitoring solutions include:

Wave Energy Testing Instrumentation Buoy

To help Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center at Oregon State Univeristy reach their goal of an offshore mobile wave energy testing facility, AXYS partnered with them to design a new buoy – the Ocean Sentinel Instrumentation buoy. AXYS engineers worked with NNMREC staff to develop this custom buoy system that interfaces with numerous custom control and monitoring devices, as well as basic meteorological and oceanographic parameters. The system also provides real time communications that monitor all aspects of the system performance.

Sub-Surface Environmental Monitoring 

AXYS has provided sub-surface environmental monitoring systems for a variety of challenging marine environments. With an array of sensors, including temperature, dissolved oxygen, and water chemistry, data can be transmitted to a surface buoy for processing using an acoustic modem or an inductive mooring line. Two-way communication capabilities allow remote system management, including configuration and diagnostics of both the buoy and the mooring components. Sub-surface moorings are easily recovered using acoustic releases, which can be triggered at any time, allowing the instrumentation to float to the top and leaving the anchor on the seabed.

Other examples of custom projects: 

  • HydroLevel Buoy for NAVOCEANO – portable and flexible GPS buoy for water level measurement
  • Arctic Lake Monitoring System – year-round monitoring of arctic lakes using a buoy and sub-surface mooring.
  • Water Quality Buoy for Environment Canada – automated water quality data collection.
  • WatchMan500 for University of New Hampshire – detect, model and forecast changes in the ecosystem.


s Ports & Harbours

Accurate environmental data is a crucial part of port and harbour planning and operations. Access to timely and meaningful information can assist decision-makers faced with planning, operations, security, and safety.

WatchKeeper Port & Harbour

An ideal environmental monitoring solution for a Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) includes moored buoys, fixed platforms and pier-based installations. Typical sensor configurations provide wind speed, wind direction, waves, current speed, current direction, and water level (tide), all managed by one data management system. AIS messages 8 & 21 are broadcast and met ocean data is transmitted in real time to port operation centers, ship operators, bridge crew, and pilots.

AXYS offers custom, self-contained and fully automated weather and water level systems that can be deployed in key locations to facilitate vessel traffic management operations.

s Metocean Monitoring

Metocean monitoring is an important field of study for many applications including, weather forecasting, climate studies, operations & safety, resource assessment, maritime safety and marine domain awareness, among others.

NOMAD Met Ocean Buoy

Typical ocean and coastal monitoring buoys gather data on wind speed and direction, waves, currents, atmospheric pressure, air temperature, water temperature, and relative humidity to  measure a variety of meteorological, oceanographic and water quality parameters. Data is acquired, processed, logged and transmitted via radio, cellular, or satellite telemetry to the end user. Many buoys provide the dual function of automated weather station and navigational aid. Deployments can be in various locations, from calm, shallow waterways to 5,000m depths in open ocean. Buoys are typically powered by solar panels and rechargeable batteries, which enable them to remain deployed for long periods of time.

AXYS offers a variety of metocean buoy systems to meet specific monitoring requirements and environmental conditions. Custom mooring design, telemetry communications, and data hosting services are available, as well as commissioning and deployment from our experienced services team.

s Fresh-water and Water Quality Monitoring

AXYS provides customized turnkey solutions for continuous water quality monitoring and fresh-water monitoring projects in large rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.

WQxSentinel Fresh Water Monitoring

Water Quality

Continuous water quality monitoring has traditionally been an expensive and complex process. However, with new advances in sensor technologies, such as optical dissolved oxygen sensors and anti-biofouling mechanisms, maintenance requirements are diminishing, thus making continuous monitoring much more attractive and beneficial. Applications for continuous water quality monitoring include environmental assessments for natural resource industries, source drinking water protection, NPDES permit compliance, storm water runoff and sewer overflow monitoring, industrial effluents compliance, stream and habitat studies, water quality research, and total daily maximum loads (TDMLs) monitoring.


Fresh-water Monitoring 

Met Ocean Monitoring

AXYS’ buoys are frequently deployed in large rivers, lakes and reservoirs to gather meteorological and oceanographic data, such as wind speed & direction, waves, currents, atmospheric pressure, air temperature, water temperature, and relative humidity. The acquired data can be used for many applications, including weather forecasting, climate studies, operations & safety, resource assessment, and maritime safety, among others.

Arctic Hydrology

There are many hydrological monitoring activities being planned and facilitated in the arctic, motivated by an international need for a better understanding of hydrology in the Polar Regions. Water quality studies are also being undertaken internationally for Arctic lakes and rivers to not only gather baseline data but monitor for natural or anthropogenic transformations to these Arctic aquatic ecosystems.

AXYS is participating in this frontier for Arctic aquatic research by designing and manufacturing remote and automated systems for monitoring hydrometric and water quality parameters in arctic environments. By performing continuous monitoring of these parameters year-round, researchers can use data with unparalleled temporal representation to better understand these dynamic aquatic ecosystems.


s Offshore Renewable Energy

Environmental monitoring is a critical factor in the success of an energy capturing device, whether it’s a wind turbine, wave energy converter, or tidal energy converter. Accurate data aids developers in assessing the potential of a location, the positioning of the energy capturing devices, as well as assisting in ongoing operations.

TRIAXYS Directional Wave Buoy

Developers typically work through an initial assessment phase where environmental measurement data is required to pinpoint a location. This data can be acquired from historical sources such as wave watch models, or using in-situ instruments such as wind, wave and current buoys. Buoys provide reliable, highly-accurate, real-time data over a long period of time that allows developers to evaluate the location and make informed decisions about whether to use the site being assessed. The weather data analyzed by oceanographic consultants can be useful in determining if the energy capturing device will stay anchored in place in order to provide long-term energy.

Once the assessment phase is complete and the site has been confirmed, the energy farm is then developed. Given the cost of working in such a harsh environment, accurate environmental weather data is essential to control expenses and protect assets. Knowing the weather in advance from a data buoy transmitting environmental conditions by satellite can save developers time and money during the manufacturing phase.

Once the energy farm is built and in a production stage, it still requires constant monitoring to ensure that the maximum power output is maintained. Monitoring equipment can help developers understand if they are getting the estimated amount of power from their capture device that they were initially expecting.

Environmental monitoring platforms come in a large variety to serve different needs. They also host a wide range of sensors and telemetry devices. Sensors can gather data on winds, waves, currents, atmospheric pressure, air and water temperature, relative humidity and many other parameters.

Types of buoys include, wave and current buoys, meteorological buoys, and wind buoys. As the renewable energy industry begins to develop more offshore resources, it is expected that a significant rise in investment in the ocean monitoring field will occur, with developers relying on these tools to help them improve yields and reduce costs. Environmental monitoring will play a key role in making offshore renewable energy a success in the years to come.