Dr Christopher Balfour
I am employed as an electronics engineer with the primary responsibility to provide support for the scientific work that is undertaken by the Coastal and Shelf Seas Group at the National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool (NOCL). This work includes marine instrument development, deployment, recovery, remote monitoring and measurement data quality management.
Current and Previous Projects
Electric Gliders are small energy efficient battery powered autonomous underwater vehicles that are being used to provide measurements for extended scientific studies. Gliders are capable of undertaking underwater surveys in adverse weather typically have an endurance of between 2 weeks and 3 months depending on the type of batteries used, the type of sensors and how often information from the sensors is recorded. I am the NOCL engineer responsible for the provision of technical support and development work to allow the required operation of these vehicles and the integration of new sensors.
The NOC Liverpool FerryBox was an instrumented Irish Sea passenger and cargo ferry that provided cost effective quality controlled long term data and near real time oceanographic measurements. The ferry regularly sailed between Birkenhead (close to Liverpool, UK) and Dublin, Ireland. The FerryBox provided water quality measurements of near surface seawater along full transects across the Irish Sea from 2003 until the ferry route closure in 2011.
The Coastal Observatory operated from 2002 to 2012 and was aimed at long term physical oceanographic studies of shelf seas. A suite of oceanographic instrumentation including FerryBoxes, gliders, moorings and buoys were used by the observatory. The primary area of study was the Liverpool Bay and eastern Irish Sea.
Development of robust marine instrumentation systems along with the associated organisation, recording and quality control of the data these systems generate.
Design and implementation of engineering systems to exploit techniques that allow real time data transfer from remotely deployed marine instruments.