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
Real-time environmental monitoring of the Great Barrier Reef
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.