Aude: a hyperconnected French-American buoy, unique in the world, inaugurated in Port-La Nouvelle

“It is from necessity that inventions are born”. With this proverb borrowed from Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, the creators of the OCG-DATA buoy have summarized the purpose of this UFO, an unidentified floating object, which will witness life in and under the water of the Mare Nostrum in the same place where the future wind turbines floats will be installed.

This Tuesday, January 24th, in Port-La Nouvelle, science may have taken a step forward. The President of the Region, Carole Delga, and above all a couple of designers, Dominique Roddier and Christian Cermelli, inaugurated a hyperconnected floating object, namely through the Starlink satellite network, from the SpaceX company of Elon Musk, the creator of Tesla.

This project was born in a garage in California when the design duo wanted to imagine a technological testimony of what is happening in the water, under water and in the air, in real time, in order to take into account issues related to biodiversity, heating and fishing. sustainable.

An invention in a California garage

These hyperactive people invented the OCG-DATA, a buoy fifteen meters high and thirty meters wide. They then created a Franco-American company called Ocergy. It looks like a spaceship, except that it is at sea that the Ofni in question, which will be launched 30 kilometers from the coast, will do its work. Underwater cameras, submerged sound sensors, photo and video traps to witness the passage of birds day and night, but also “biohut” cages to witness the possible renewal of fish under the structure, to which are added sonar, a wave recorder .

The data will be returned in near real time and will be used for the benefit of all, operators of experimental and industrial floating wind turbines, but also professional fishermen who will also be involved through “experimental fishing” in the sector in question. Also to the benefit of the Gulf of Lion Marine Park, which is necessarily hungry for this type of data.

Have a reconciliation of all sea activities

Carole Delga, “godmother” of this unique innovation in the world, welcomed the challenges. And especially the fact that OCG-DATA will largely address the essential challenges of renewable natural energies and more precisely floating wind energy. All this from the perspective of energy sovereignty. He recalled the challenges of the “Pact of Narbonne” in 2018. Challenges for employment, for research, for industry, for the scientific community and for the academic world, with the UPVD of Perpignan being one of the interested parties. And also for fishing: “I will not recall the hundreds of millions of euros mobilized by the Occitania region in favor of the sector, nor all the measures we are taking so that our fishermen can continue to exercise and have resources. It is because we are concerned with having a reconciliation of all activities of the sea we invest”.

We want it to be a rewarding, emancipating and rewarding job

It is, therefore, in a context in which energy and food sovereignty is at the center of Europe’s concerns that Carole Delga wants to affirm “the commitment of the Region, which is not neutral in geopolitical matters”. What was announced, in terms of investment and employment in the extension of the port of La Nouvelle, “were not the promises of the Gascons”despite its origins. “We want it to be remunerative, emancipatory and rewarding work. We must multiply our forces so that our children can have a viable planet. I do not believe in rupture, but in a policy of unity. To take on climate issues and social justice”added the President of the Region.

The State, through the Environment and Energy Management Agency, which financed up to 1.3 M€, therefore half of this unique float, subscribes to this speech. And through assembly at the terminal, which will be dedicated to future floating wind turbines, the “heavy pier”, created for this purpose, had its first successful in-situ experience for a structure of reduced dimensions.

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