Additional Communication link - WiFi

We’ve had a few requests for live underwater streaming cameras lately. I’ve been following the other projects doing similar work.

One of these requests is to monitor a population of ragged tooth sharks off the South African East Coast.

The power requirements we can deal with by adding a custom pack to the seafloor payload, this installation will be serviced regularly, comms is another story.

The reef is located about 700 meters off shore from the closest infrastructure, which allows the opportunity to have a direct line-of-sight WiFi connection.

How feasible would it be to add a Wi-Fi radio that has access to the Bristlemouth bus to the Spotter E-box or float?

Any other options that would enable this functionality? A separate surface float containing a WiFi radio perhaps?

If we are successful in our application, we should be able to throw some engineering hours at this, hopefully to the benefit of the community.

At this stage, I’m trying to get a feel for the feasibility of such an endeavour.

Looking forward to hearing from the community!

Hi @AndreH ,

Very cool application and idea!

The electrical integration of a BM module inside of the Spotter hull is very straightforward. There is a Bristlemouth electrical connection from the bottom of the electronics enclosure to the Bristlemouth bulkhead penetrator that uses a standard 2-pin molex connector.

The challenges are:

  1. Mechanical mounting. There are no mount points for additional payloads in the Spotter buoy. You’d need to take a peek inside and come up with something.
  2. RF performance of the additional radio. Finding a position to mount the antenna and get acceptable performance may be challenging, and would require some trial and error.
  3. Environmental reliability (tolerance to extreme heat). The inside of the Spotter can get quite warm (40C+), and can get downright hot if left out in full sun out of the water. You should take care to select industrial grade components that have a wide operational temperature range (or take care to babysit your prototypes).

An additional surface float could also do the trick. It would come with similar challenges to a different degree, and adds the risk of another critical surface expression to a deployment.

Hope this helps, and please keep us up to date on your progress!