This marks another innovative use of 5G technology for the Dorset Council led – DCMS funded project, and demonstrated a capability that could drive efficiencies and information delivery for many sectors in the marine environment.
Continual video streaming over 5G from underwater is a brand-new concept and a major milestone in JET’s product development and for the project. A connection to standalone (SA) 5G at sea was only proven for the first time on JET’s buoys as part of 5G RuralDorset last year, so demonstrating such advanced use of the connectivity is another momentous evolution.
The host buoy for this trial, named JET-3 Arial, was launched connected to a private 5G network provided by Wessex Internet, and transmitted a live video feed from under the water near Portland, Dorset to the JET team.
Two cameras below the buoy streamed the live footage of seaweed at Jurassic Sea Farms, who have been supporting the aquaculture trials throughout 5G RuralDorset. Following this demonstration of the technology, the opportunity for next growing season is to analyse live video and environmental sensor data with artificial intelligence (AI) developed by Exeter University to build a better understanding of seaweed growth and biofouling, to meet the pivotal point between seaweed quality vs quantity, and to optimise harvest scheduling. Utilising instant data collection and analysis will also enable live alerts of any issues to the farm.
With further research, such a system could have big benefits for the wider industry – not only maximising the economic benefit seaweed could offer, but also the environmental and social contributions it can bring through carbon capture and as a healthy food source.
This demonstration was part of the wider Future of Food trials in the 5G RuralDorset project, and was done in collaboration with Wessex Internet – Future of Food workstream lead, Jurassic Sea Farms, Exeter University, and Dorset Coast Forum.
Izzy Taylor, Head of Business Development at JET, said: “Arial is our second demonstrator buoy to be deployed for the Dorset Council led project, with the first being our flagship buoy, JET-1 Nemo, which demonstrated the world’s first standalone 5G connection at sea. We are extremely grateful to Dorset Council and the aquaculture team within the project for collaborating with us to showcase what 5G at sea can enable.
“This pilot is an important step to showcasing how we can support the efficiencies of marine and maritime industry organisations, and to work together towards a future of Net Zero.”
Richard Prickett, CEO at Jurassic Sea Farms commented: “Live streaming of how the seaweed crop is developing allows us to optimise the point of harvest and to better understand the environmental factors affecting the quality such as growth of epiphytes and interactions with other forms of marine life.”
Councillor Jill Haynes, Cabinet Member for Corporate Development and Transformation for Dorset Council which leads the 5G RuralDorset project, remarked: “Dorset has been recognised by the government as having high potential opportunity for aquaculture in the UK. This technological milestone is an important first step in the modernisation of one of our traditional industries and will help to futureproof and grow the sector, thereby continuing to provide jobs for years to come.”