Inderscience Publishers

Real-time environmental monitoring of the Great Barrier Reef

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The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is the largest natural feature on earth, stretching more than 2300 km along the northeast coast of Australia. It contains a diverse array of species and habitats that are threatened by environmental and human impacts. Monitoring environmental changes would give a better understanding of the health of this ecological system. It would also help shape decision-making to ensure this important natural asset is protected into the future. This paper investigates how environmental information can be collected and brought back to the mainland from the GBR. A novel method of using the evaporation duct above the ocean surface to tunnel radio signals beyond the horizon is proposed for the link to the mainland, and the design of a hybrid power supply is also outlined. A monitoring network for use on Davies Reef, approximately 80 km off the coast of northern Queensland, is used as a case study in this paper.

Keywords: evaporation duct, ocean communications, radio propagation, hybrid power supply, wind power, Great Barrier Reef, solar power, solar energy, wind energy, Australia, real-time monitoring, environmental monitoring, environmental technology

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