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Here’s why you should track your oceanographic equipment

The ocean is a vast and mysterious place that many of us take for granted – but for those who work there, managing oceanographic equipment can be a real headache. 

Throughout this article, you’ll see why tracking assets even when far out into the sea is critical to many maritime operations. We’ll also explore the solutions offered by asset trackers, the many benefits they bring to these companies, and what to consider before implementing these solutions.

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Why does tracking oceanographic equipment matter?

Imagine this: you’re the captain of a research vessel, tasked with collecting vital data in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Your instruments – buoys, sensors, underwater drones, and other equipment – are scattered across miles of open water, each transmitting valuable information back to your ship. 

But here’s the catch: you have no idea where most of them are. Does it sound stressful? Yeah, and it should be. After all, manually tracking oceanographic equipment is a logistical nightmare, and losing track of even a single piece can have significant consequences.

Photo of a stressed woman.

Oceanographic equipment.

Research projects grind to a halt without essential instruments; construction timelines go haywire if critical tools vanish (and there are no ways of getting a replacement in time). Lost equipment means wasted budgets, delayed projects, and potential safety hazards.

In short, traditional, manual tracking methods simply can’t keep up – spreadsheets and handwritten logs are error-prone and take a lot of time from personnel, leaving organizations vulnerable to blind spots that might cost them a lot.

Think about it: researchers spending hours searching for misplaced equipment instead of analyzing valuable data, and construction crews being delayed due to missing tools will harshly impact budgets and project deadlines. 

This isn’t just an inconvenience; it’s a drain on resources and efficiency. In a competitive and environmentally sensitive industry, such inefficiencies simply can’t be tolerated.

So.. what can be done?

Asset tracking solutions for oceanographic equipment

Asset tracking solutions for oceanographic equipment are crucial for enhancing efficiency and reducing operational costs. Among the top tracking devices available in the market, we can offer innovative solutions tailored to the unique needs of oceanographic operations: the Oyster and Yabby series of tracking devices.

The Oyster tracker, aptly named for its rugged and durable design, is equipped with GPS technology that provides real-time location updates for assets in the field. Its compact size and waterproof casing make it ideal for tracking equipment deployed both on land and at sea. This tracker can be easily attached to various types of equipment, including buoys, sensors, and research instruments, providing valuable visibility into asset location and status.
Similarly, the Yabby tracker offers reliable tracking functionality in a compact and versatile form factor. With its long battery life and low power consumption, the Yabby tracker is well-suited for long-term deployments in remote or challenging environments. Whether monitoring oceanographic sensors, data collection devices, or underwater vehicles, the Yabby tracker delivers accurate location data and ensures that assets remain accounted for at all times.

Both the Oyster and Yabby trackers can leverage cutting-edge technology to provide seamless integration with existing asset management systems. These devices offer customizable tracking intervals, geofencing capabilities, and alerts for unauthorized movement or tampering. With easy-to-use cloud-based platforms, users can remotely monitor asset locations, optimize resource allocation, and proactively address operational challenges.

Image of the Yabby tracker.
This is what the Yabby tracker looks like.

What are the benefits for every ocean sector?

Asset tracking solutions offer a variety of benefits across various ocean sectors, revolutionizing the way organizations manage their equipment and resources. Generally speaking, with this technology, companies can optimize operations, improve asset utilization, and enhance overall efficiency by slashing their losses and streamlining inventory management processes.

The real-time visibility provided by tracking devices helps companies to actively monitor the location and status of their equipment remotely, ensuring timely maintenance and servicing.

For example, in the oil and gas sector, tracking solutions play a vital role in optimizing offshore operations and ensuring the safety and security of workers and equipment. 

By accurately tracking assets such as drilling equipment, pipelines, and offshore platforms, companies can minimize downtime, mitigate risks, and maintain regulatory compliance. It also enables proactive maintenance scheduling, which minimizes operational disruptions.

Oceanographic institutes and research labs, in turn, benefit from this technology by improving the efficiency of scientific expeditions and data collection efforts. 

With real-time visibility into the location and condition of research equipment and instruments, researchers can optimize deployment strategies, maximize data collection opportunities, and enhance the accuracy of research findings. Those devices also make it easier for different teams to collaborate, enabling more insightful scientific studies.

In the offshore construction industry, asset-tracking solutions help streamline project management processes and ensure the timely completion of projects.

By monitoring the location and movement of construction equipment, companies can optimize resource allocation and ensure safety and compliance by providing real-time alerts and notifications for safety violations.

Picture of an offshore petroleum plant being built.

Finally, for military contractors operating in maritime environments, oceanographic equipment monitoring is essential for mission planning, logistics management, and operational security.

When there is accurate tracking of the location and movement of military assets (like vessels, aircraft, and specialized equipment), there is better situational awareness, which enables quick responses to threats or changing operational requirements.

Asset trackers also support mission-critical tasks like search and rescue operations, maritime patrol, and domain awareness.

What to consider before implementing tracking solutions

Implementing asset-tracking solutions requires careful planning and consideration to ensure successful deployment and maximum benefits. Whether you’re managing oceanographic equipment or assets in other industries, following best practices for choosing and implementing the right asset trackers is crucial. 

Here are some guidelines to help you choose the best solutions for your case:

  • Define your requirements and objectives: identify the assets you need to track, the information you want to collect, and the goals you aim to achieve. Consider factors such as the type of assets, environmental conditions, and desired tracking capabilities as well;
  • Evaluate tracking technologies: there are many available in the market, including GPS, cellular, and RFID-based solutions. For oceanographic equipment, for example, GPS-based trackers are usually the most suitable choice for tracking assets deployed in open-water environments;
  • Consider environmental factors: don’t forget to take into account the environmental conditions in which your assets will be deployed. Oceanographic equipment is likely to be subjected to saltwater exposure, underwater pressure, and temperature variations, so make sure to choose tracking devices capable of withstanding these conditions (like the Oyster and the Yabby);
  • Battery life and power management: pay attention to the battery life and power management features of the tracking devices. Long battery life is essential for assets and oceanographic equipment deployed in remote or inaccessible locations;
  • Scalability and integration: consider the scalability and integration capabilities of the tracking solution. Choose devices and platforms that can scale to accommodate growing asset fleets and integrate seamlessly with existing asset management systems;
  • Data security and privacy: pick solutions that employ robust encryption, authentication mechanisms, and access controls to safeguard sensitive information. Also, don’t forget to verify that the chosen solution complies with relevant protection regulations and industry standards;
  • Pilot testing and evaluation: finally, don’t forget to perform early tests to evaluate the tracking solution before full-scale deployment, assessing their performance, accuracy, and reliability.

Closing thoughts

The vastness of the ocean holds immense potential, but managing equipment dispersed across the unending blue can be daunting. 

That said, as seen throughout this article, innovative asset-tracking solutions like the Oyster and Yabby trackers are transforming the way we interact with and utilize our resources. 

From vessels conducting scientific research to massive construction projects far out into the ocean, tracking oceanographic equipment can go a long way in enhancing visibility, reducing operational costs, improving safety, and streamlining operations.

If you’re looking for help with all things tracking devices, we at Datanet IoT would be more than glad to offer a helping hand – be it on land or water. With our unparalleled expertise in tracking assets and environments, you can effortlessly increase your operational efficiency and compliance. 

We’re also quick at implementing complete and scalable solutions for your business while also providing a cloud-based interface that makes it easy to monitor your data from anywhere.

Get in touch with Datanet IoT right now to stay at the forefront of innovation!

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