SRS (SRL) - the first project

(Mariusz) #1

After a brief discussion under Seasteading Research Station? topic I decided that it’s time to go from talk to action.
So the first project of the Seasteading Research Station (Seasteading Research Lab) will be to create a small weather buoy.


Cost: below $100


  • water temperature
  • air temperature
  • barometric pressure
  • wind speed
  • wind direction
  • location (GPS)

User will be able to deploy that buoy and read the data over the wifi, store and save the data, and optionally upload data to the central location at SRL.
All hardware and software will be open sourced.

Availability : Dec 2017

(Kim Cowdroy) #2

Mariusz, I think this is an excellent idea. It could provide hard data on particular locations that are being eyed for seastead deployment.
It also provides an actual presence on the open sea that could be construed as being directly related to seasteading.
Similar to determining wind speed and direction, I would suggest also having some sensors, like a directional funnel and propeller blades, to provide ocean current speed and direction.


I also think that’s an excellent start for project-oriented ideas.

Small, but practical.

Great idea. :grinning:


imho, the $100 limit is unrealistic. Lowest new 5-way weather station for home use is almost that, and only has 4 AA batteries, no solar panel, no buoy, and no mooring, with a range of ~100 meters, on 433MHz band.

In addition, it will need at least 3 anchors, to help maintain orientation, to identify wind direction and maintain solar orientation, for power.

That is not saying it cannot be done. I’m comparing the basic equipment and adding the physical requirements, as well.

For a Buoy, it will also need navigational markings and lights. For the proposed design, might look at:

Could place the batteries as ballast, inside a pvc pipe, etc.

The spar would need to raise the sensor probably about twice the typical wave height, 2-1/2 would also tend to clear local rogue waves, with the antenna above that. Buoyancy would be determined by the equipment and battery needs.

Beyond that, there is the need to coordinate with the national government, as to the legalities, their requirements, and so forth, before operating a transmitter, as well as placing a uoy, or moorings.

(Mariusz) #5

These are great ideas, but I’m not sure if the first version will have any of it. However, I will try to design it so it’s easy to add new sensors and functions.

(Mariusz) #6

I admit it will not be easy, but there is no fun in doing the easy stuff anyway. right? :slight_smile: This also is not a hard limit but a goal. While home weather stations are similar in price, you have to remember that the its price also includes cost of engineering, marketing etc. This $100 goal is just price of the components and does not include any labor or other costs.
The prototype will use,COTS hardware, and once it’s proven to work, and software is finished, custom hardware will be developed to lower the cost.

Seasteads will be able to provide all of that so the idea for this project, at least for it’s early version is to create something that’s free-floating, or that can be towed, or somehow attached to a boat, yacht etc.

Also, we should be able to easily determine location and direction of the buoy using gps, and a digital compass.

All good points. However currently I’m just considering this an experimental device, that at least in early stages will not be released “into the wild”.
It’s not going to be a product, at least not in early stages, but an experiment.


I was going off the list. Wind speed really doesn’t have as much meaning without a direction., so the thing can’t just turn at will.

Further, the buoy will need to remain stable, in order to not have wave related acceleration and deceleration affecting the indicated wind speed, not to mention the current of the water affecting indicated wind speed, as well.

I am NOT cutting down the idea, just pointing out the scale of difficulty involved in achieving the stated goals.[quote=“6d6b73, post:6, topic:2095”]
In addition, it will need at least 3 anchors, to help maintain orientation, to identify wind direction and maintain solar orientation, for power.

Seasteads will be able to provide all of that so the idea for this project, at least for it’s early version is to create something that’s free-floating, or that can be towed, or somehow attached to a boat, yacht etc.

Also, we should be able to easily determine location and direction of the buoy using gps, and a digital compass.

IF I was to attempt it, I would start as I described. Further, with that 3-point mooring, you can also add the sensors for water current speed, and direction.

(Matias Volco) #8

The surface of the Ocean is well documented using weather ships, lots of existing weather buoys and satellites. Sub surface driftiing buoys also exist, and many oceans like the North Atlantic and Pacific are permanently criss crossed by the fleet of ships that keeps your fridge both running and stocked. Ipso facto, there is already a permanent human presence on the seas, just not the same individuals at the same time (travelling vs settling).
Easy, turnkey permanent settling of the World Ocean also exists, at a price in the Condo Cruise Ship MS The World by Residensea. Now it’s a matter of bringing down the costs by discarding the “ship” aspect.
There is little question of what is “out there” since the mid 1400s, but rather what is down there.

It has been said that we have more complete maps of the surface of Mars or the Moon than we do of Earth. Close to 70 percent of our planet is covered by water, and that water refracts, absorbs, and reflects light so well that it can only penetrate a few tens to hundreds of meters. To humans and most satellite eyes, the deep ocean is opaque.

NASA Earth Observatory


The objective expressed by @6d6b73 is to move from inaction to action, from merely talking to actually doing something experimental that contributes to the entire seasteading community at a level useful to even the individual seasteading enthusiast.

It’s irrelevant to the experimental mission that expensive commercial products already exist.

There is room in the seasteading universe for small-scale experiments and experiential learning, @Matias. That process should be enabled, not discouraged.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #10

Sounds like a very important point to me.

We have not found the oceans recently and need to send probes to them like Mars. We are dealing and settling and fighting our wars on them for millenia

We need a technological breaktrough that makes permanent settlements of city size feasible in the sense of solving the bottleneck and attract investor attention
Work-Hypothesis: Any activity we suggest in the sense of Seasteading should be run trough the filter of “what is the point of doing it” … how is this evolving floating cities ?
It is not about “doing something” it is about “doing the right thing to fasttrack evolution”. Discarding the “ship” aspect is definitly one of the first important steps in the line of evolution.
Am i off topic yet on the hurray let´s have a “weather bouy thread” ?

The misleading hypothesis that there is a kind of status of “nothing has been built yet” or a “status of inactivity” has been coined again - it has has been refuted many times earlier…i am kind of tired to repeat the pointers…this misleading preception is due to a lack of info that needs a reality check…and doing the homework of reading up the pointers of the floating construction projects all over the globe.


Perhaps a data-buoy, with temperature and current speeds/directions, and conductivity at certain depths, depending on location, for specific local water conditions.

Would be helpful for mariculture.

Later, perhaps use a sonar motion detector, to trigger 360* cameras, with blue LED lights, to capture the local fauna?


Expensive, but perhaps a variation of this could be used for solar power, for each level of sensor package, to cut issues with wire breakage and make for a better sealed unit…

Additional FO for data- transmission to the main buoy, for the transmitter?

Granted, this is way beyond the scope of a $100 weather buoy, but might actually be more useful…


Science and product development are enhanced by both exploratory research and experiential learning.

Each builds upon the other and depends upon the other.

If TSI’s limited funds aren’t used, why must any member’s project be disparaged or discouraged by the crew from the @Elmo alliance

… who object to every idea that might possibly lead readers away from Wil Ellmer’s private “investment” scheme …

… and who criticize other member’s when they present ideas that might distract readers from Wil’s hyperlinks inserted in comments solely to capture “investment” funds for his own private (non-TSI) scheme?

Wrong question, @Elmo.

Instead, you might consider not criticizing every idea that differs from your own private “investment” scheme.


Good points, @JL_Frusha.

If the mariculture is of any size at all, then mapping the entire project at various points to determine variations throughout the mariculture project would be vital for proper management of the commercial project.

Further, no one has yet mapped the data variations around any of the proposed seasteading cities. That would be a worthy project separate from mariculture.

@6d6b73’s buoy project has practical usage, … as designed, and as it would undoubtedly be modified in future variations.

(Mariusz) #15

That sounds like it could be something rather useful. I will definitely see how soon it could be added.
I don’t want to share too much too early, but here is my general idea what I plan on have available in the next 3-4 years (sooner if time and budget permits) :

Seastead Data Center
Set of communication devices, data storage, network of sensors to monitor seastead and its environment.
So data, or weather buoys, local SeasteadNet with access to offline websites like Gutenberg Project, Wikipedia, access to Outernet, SeasteadMesh for communication with other seasteads, local media center to store and all of your entertainment, getting NOAA data and images from the satellites, emergency beacon, ability to connect many different sensors, control devices etc.
It might seem like an impossible project, but some of that work is already done as other projects by other people, and it all just needs to be put together, simplified and tested. I already have some of the components in my home lab,and I’m building automation stuff at work, so there is a tiny chance that I might be able to actually pull this off :slight_smile:
Time will tell.

(Mariusz) #16

TSI can do what they want with the projects they run and sponsor, but on something like this I honestly don’t care if someone thinks that it’s not “evolving floating cities”. I do appreciate any suggestions and ideas that anyone presents, but I don’t need any permission, from to act.

It’s not that nothing was done in the sea faring front, that would obviously is false. But seasteading is at a point where computing was before open source movement gave access to free, quality software to people. Before only big organizations with huge budgets could afford computers and the necessary software. My hope is that a small project like the one I’m undertaking will help to move people from “wait and see” approach to “let’s try even if we fail”.

I consider myself an investor. With this project I will invest my time and money to make seasteads possible. :slight_smile:

(Wilfried Ellmer) #17

@6d6b73 if you think you have considered all the arguments and come to the conclusion that building a weather bouy with @BobDohse and @JL_Frusha - to move seasteading forward - is the best you can come up with - you should do exactly that…it is part of the seasteading core value that “everybody gets his way”…good luck to the venture and the SRL group !

(Mariusz) #18

If you want floating cities to ever become a reality, we need to build an industry around the whole concept. That small project that I’m working on, is my attempt to kickstart this industry. Just let your imagination run wild and think if the following scenario is even remotely possible:

First few buoys are built and deploy around the world. People start sharing the data, offering improvements, asking for more features. These request are fulfilled by various people. Some offer improvements for free, some charge money for their ideas. Some people pool their limited funds and build simple floating platform to test some of the other ideas that people came up with. They reinvest the money made on their ideas and create much bigger platforms, test more stuff. In a few years that platform becomes a permanent floating lab. This brings more money, more investment, more people near that one lab. Other labs are developed in other parts of this planet. Someday one or more of them expands so much that it becomes a floating city…

Unlikely? Perhaps… But I think this is more likely than the idea that one of the world’s billionaires decides that it’s a good idea to build a floating city, and make the necessary investment. Yes, it’s highly likely that I will fail. But if there is even a small chance that I will succeed, it will be the first time in history of this organization that anyone will be able to build or buy something made specifically for their future seastead.

(Mariusz) #19

It’s not the best or the only thing I can come up with, but it’s the most realistic considering time and budget constrains. And it will not take long to find out if this project is a better alternative to the current “pray for an investor” strategy.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #20

The misleading hypothesis was coined that there is something as a “pray for an investor” strategy currently at work in the seasteading movement.

• The seasteading movement is no uniform monolithic movement at all. There are thousands of groups doing many different things with diverse strategic goals

• It is impossible to know for anybody who is not sitting in the boardroom of all of those projects to make any kind of founded comment on what the strategy those projects are after. | what is happening now how would you know ? |