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Prevention against vandalism on the TRITON buoy system

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6 Author(s)
Kakuta, S. ; Independent Administrative Instn., Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Sci. & Technol., Yokosuka ; Yamaguchi, M. ; Ito, A. ; Ishihara, Y.
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The TRITON buoy system, which monitors surface meteorology and vertical profiles of seawater temperature and salinity, consists of unmanned mooring array in the tropical West Pacific and eastern Indian Oceans. The observational data obtained through the system is used both for local fishery, operational monthly weather forecasts, and climatic research as to predict El Nintildeo-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events. In some areas where the buoys are moored, observational instruments are frequently detached and stolen. Such destructive acts are called "vandalism". There has been no legal framework against vandalism out of the territorial seas. Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) tries to prevent vandalism on its buoys. Since the cycle of deployment and recovery of each buoy is about one year, prevention can be tried only once a year. So far, the following prevention has been proved to be remarkably effective; (1) change of towers in material from aluminum to stainless steel, and (2) change of antennas in shape from a whip to a disk. At 2N-130E, whole the 4-leg tower on a buoy was removed. Against such severe vandalism, giving at-sea maintenance up, we are studying conversion of a buoy form to uninstall the tower, which meteorological sensors are installed on. One of the ideas is to attach a pyramid-shaped cover on the top of the buoy to make it much more difficult to get on itself. A buoy with the new design was deployed in July 2004

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Date of Conference:

9-12 Nov. 2004