Flansea Wave Pioneer


FlanSea is a collaborative consortium supported by the Flemish Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology. The consortium is developing the Wave Pioneer, a buoy that generates energy from the swell created by ocean waves.


On April 23, 2013, the first Wave Pioneer was launched from the Port of Ostend. This monitoring generates a significant data stream, which is backhauled to the office using an nCentric wireless solution.

Flansea Wave Pioneer


Traditionally these type of solutions are provided by a VSAT provider. In this case VSAT isn’t the right solution, because the high installation cost and the expensive rate of data transmission. Furthermore the relatively small size of the buoy makes it difficult to install the VSAT hardware:  


  • The device must be able to withstand heavy pitch and roll.  
  • Wave Pioneer’s relatively small size makes it difficult to install a VSAT.
  • Extremely high costs associated with the VSAT setup. 
  • Low power availability on the buoy. 
  • Failover is required, necessitating the installation of two independent wireless technologies. 
  • The high cost of VSAT transmission – Wave Pioneer transmits at least one gigabyte of data a day, which would be cost prohibitive using VSAT. 
  • Internet connection required for vessels in the proximity of the device.




The solution was to install nCentric’s ROBIN-R4 field coverage node on a lighthouse with an internet uplink, with ROBIN-R4 installed on the Wave Pioneer. Advantages of nCentric’s ROBIN-R4 include: 


  • ROBIN-R4’s antenna angles can cope with heavy pitch and roll. 
  • Installation costs are only a fraction of VSAT. 
  • Robin4 is much more compact, making installation easier and requiring a lot less power. 
  • There are no additional fees for transferring large amounts of data.
  • Robin-R4’s high bandwidth ensures rapid data transfer. 
  • To further enhance communications, an additional access point was installed to create a WiFi hotspot around the buoy.

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