The Poseidon Project

Poseidon BannerPursuit Of Scientific Evidence Investigating Details of the Ocean Naviface

Click HERE to visit the tracker and watch the Kraken journey across the sea!

Launching and then tracking an Ocean Buoy by Satellite.  The Buoy – hereafter referred to as the KRAKEN- will also measure wave amplitude and frequency.

…. Update.  After 50 days at sea our second kraken is mssing presumed …..   :(

Off it goesRelease the Kraken


Oil Spill Response

The main concept behind the buoy is its primary usage as an oil response system. The system is based around an oil response unit that aims to make it easier for oil companies to clean up spills quickly and effectively.

It consists of a series of buoys that cooperate to give an image of the spread of oil by using sophisticated GPS and radio technology. Using this, companies can get a picture of where oil has spread/will spread and can clean it up as fast as possible.


GPS – U-blox Max 6Q

These determine the location of each buoy as a latitude and longitude, as well as providing accurate synchronised timekeeping (GPS time) for all buoys. GPS modules communicate with the Arduino via the UBX binary protocol over a serial RS232 interface and use Sarantel SL1202 (now discontinued) antennae. The modules have been optimised for 2 dimensional ocean use, in power saving mode (positional fix every 5 minutes). We used these receivers partly because they are very small (so will fit into the ‘nymphs’) can be put into low power mode to extend the battery life of the buoys whilst at sea.

Short Range Radios – Hope Microelectronics RFM22B Transceiver

These are low power boards used for short range communications (sending GPS data) between buoys in the POSEIDON network. We used this open source Arduino library for easy communication between the Arduino and radio modules. Packets of data are automatically encoded and decoded, further simplifying the Arduino programming.


The second kraken- released by the Scottish Association of Marine Science.

Arduino Atmega328

This microprocessor chip is used by the Arduino Uno board (but is in surface mount form on our buoys). They are programmed in C with the Arduino IDE version 1.0.1 and coordinate the behaviour of each buoy; decoding and relaying data from various components e.g. the GPS receivers, or the IMU out to the RockBLOCK radio.

Buoy Network Concept

We aimed to fully utilise the benefits of an entire network of buoys by allowing the ‘nymphs’ to relay each other’s transmissions to the ‘Kraken’, in case some drift out of range of the RFM22B radios. Each nymph broadcasts the GPS data it has stored in its memory to all other buoys, which receive and store this data in their own memories. This means that each time a buoy transmits its memory contents, it is transmitting GPS data on behalf of all the other buoys (not just its own location). This means that if a buoy moves out of range of the ‘Kraken’, its data will still reach the Kraken providing that other nymphs are still in range to act as relays. The Kraken collects all these data transmissions to send back to us via the Iridium constellation, enabling us to track the location of each buoy in the network whilst using only one RockBLOCK radio.

Other Projects

Throughout the course of the Poseidon project, several side projects were being carried out as well. These schemes did not only compliment the main project, but also helped to bring together different skillsets within the school and also raise awareness of the engineering field.