Smart Buoy will bring real time measurement of oil in Artic area conditions to oil spill response

Press release 2016-11-15 at 10:54
Smart Buoy system
Smart Buoy was installed for test use in Porvoo in October 2016. © Seppo Virtanen / Meritaito Ldt

The new smart navigation ice buoy system will deliver real-time data on oil in water especially in cold climate conditions. It will help environmental and oil response authorities to monitor marine environment more effectively. In the future buoys placed along fairways could also reveal and confirm illegal oil discharges.

In order to develop a novel robust system for harsh Arctic environment, a Smart Buoy with oil detecting sensor was installed for test use near the Neste Refinery in Porvoo in October 2016. This smart navigation ice buoy system will deliver real-time data on oil in water in that coastal Gulf of Finland station during the coming winter. The goal is to provide a new and quick monitoring tool to be used in Arctic areas.

New data for more effective environmental monitoring

The real-time measurement is a big advance in oil detection and environmental monitoring.  On-line oil monitoring data can later be linked directly to the awareness system of the oil spill response authorities.

Smart buoy concept has been used in measuring water quality. Main applications where buoys have been used are turbidity spreading during harbor dredging and dumping operations, current magnitude and direction monitoring and wave monitoring. In addition, multiple systems have been used for blue-green algae, salinitym, temperature and oxygen monitoring in the Gulf of Finland and Archipelago sea.

The Smart Buoy technology for monitoring of oil is being developed within the EU Horizon 2020-funded project GRACE coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE. The Finnish company Meritaito Ltd and their subcontractor Luode Consulting Oy are responsible for the Smart Buoy development work.

The Integrated oil spill response actions and environmental effects -project (GRACE) started in the spring of 2016 and focuses on developing, comparing and evaluating the effectiveness and environmental effects on different oil spill response methods in cold climate. Furthermore the project develops real-time observation of underwater oil spills and a strategic tool for choosing oil response methods.

The GRACE project website

Photos for media (Credits: Seppo Virtanen / Meritaito Ltd):

More information

Seppo Virtanen, Meritaito Ltd
tel. +358 408232122,

Kirsten Jørgensen, GRACE project coordinator, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
tel. +358 295251245,


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