The WATEREYE project tests a wireless communications system in the ELICAN prototype in the Canary Islands.

Last 2nd of June, within the framework of the WATEREYE project, different tests were conducted on the Esteyco’s ELICAN prototype, installed on the PLOCAN marine test site. The trials, led by the project coordinator Ainhoa Cortés, aimed to test the range and robustness of the wireless communication solution developed by CEIT in WATEREYE (based on Ultra Wide-Band, UWB) in a realistic scenario, such as the offshore wind turbine located on the east coast of Gran Canaria.

To do this, different types of antennas were tested by pre-calibrating the system for each of them. In addition, two UWB channels were tested: one was used for communications and the other to estimate the distance, thus knowing the position of the mobile node that was increasing its height inside the tower of the wind turbine. In this way, the operator emulated being the mobile node (the drone) climbing the ladder inside the wind turbine tower.

On the other hand, three fixed nodes were located on the access platform: one for the estimation of distances, another for UWB communication that was also connected to a 3G module to send all the data to a server deployed by CEIT in real time (which served to visualize the status of the tests and collect the data of signal strength and distance estimation). The third node served to test in parallel another communications link as a redundant system based on subGHz technology that will serve to compare with the main communications link. This last link could also be used for the configuration of the node or to combine both technologies to achieve a more robust solution, or even depending on the situation, use one link or another.

The WATEREYE project aims to develop a set of sensors, monitoring systems, diagnostic and predictive maintenance strategies, and decision support tools related to the operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms.

The project is committed to the development of a sensor and monitoring system composed of low-cost intelligent sensors, based on ultrasonic technology, which allow to measure the thickness of the structures and their loss of material due to corrosion.

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