The ODAS Italia 1 Buoy represents a unique example of a pole-based offshore marine laboratory.
It consists of a steel pole body above which the laboratory head at head height is fixed, which provides a protected compartment for the instruments. Well ventilated and rainproof, the compartment in the lower part is equipped with a drain with protection from sea shocks, and externally supports solar panels. Above the laboratory unit a trellis structure carries all the meteo sensors and other apparatus.
Along the body of the buoy, at various depths, are placed thermometers, current meters, wave meters and two sample holding baskets for macrofouling investigations.
Measuring a total length of 51 metres, of which 36 are underwater, the buoy weighs about 12 tons and is positioned in the center of the Ligurian Sea, at a depth of about 1400 meters, approximately 73 km south of Genoa, along the route to Capo Corso.
Originally selected for the navigation aid purposes – for the dispatch of updated weather information to mariners during the first 15 minutes of each hour – later this area proved to be of great interest also from an environmental point of view to deepen the knowledge of the marine ecosystem that characterizes the Ligurian Sea and particularly the area where the buoy is moored.
The collected environmental data are then transmitted in real time to a dedicated shore station.
This enhances the importance of carrying out a thorough maintenance to the buoy structure.
To preserve its precious operation, the buoy was therefore entrusted to the experience of PALUMBO SY, which carried out a complete refit and repair service to all metal parts at its yard in Savona.
Soon the ODAS Italia 1 offshore marine laboratory will return to perform its very useful functions for the safeguard of both mariners and the environment.