IoT technology to monitor the state of the sea and improve the security of beaches

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The aim of the Douglas project is to improve safety in the bathing area of the beaches of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, through the implementation of a coastal signalling system through IoT technology.

As part of the project, led by the company Ona Safe & Clean and the Technological Development Centre for Remote Acquisition and Data Processing Systems (SARTI) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech (UPC), a coastal signalling system has been developed that uses IoT technologies for processing, transmission and management of information applied to the safety of beaches.

A preliminary series of 50 devices have been designed and produced, as has a web portal for monitoring and configuration and an App for the installation of the buoys, which could be used on any of the 250 beaches in Catalonia. These devices are small and economical and can be put inside the buoys so that they send data in real time on the state of the sea and other environmental parameters.

The system uses beach marker buoys that delimit the areas for bathing and for vessels and help to estimate the state of the sea. Automatically, the system assigns the right flag that permits bathing on the beach or not, regardless of whether there are lifeguards (lifeguarded beaches are those that currently use a flag system).

Budget and funding

The project has obtained funding in two phases. In the first phase, for the conception of the project, it received funding from the TECNIO Association, in which the SARTI group of the UPC participates as a member. In the second phase, for the increase in technology readiness level and the implementation of 50 prototypes on beaches, funding was obtained from the Catalan Maritime Network, BlueNetCAT. 

The project was executed from January to July 2022.

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