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Field measurements for large-scale kelp farm in Namibia

AuthorsIngo Drummen
Conference/JournalMARIN Report 134
Date12 dec. 2022
Reading time6 minutes
MARIN regularly performs measurement services on marine structures at sea, including the subsequent data analysis.
When contacted by Kelp Blue, MARIN was eager to assist with its monitoring campaign.

Kelps are big, brown algae seaweeds that grow in underwater forests in shallow seas. They are known for their high growth rate. Kelp Blue is a startup which is developing a large-scale kelp farm off the coast of Lüderitz, Namibia. The structure of the farm consists of an array of modules positioned 15 m below the water surface, which are moored to the seabed with two chains and drag anchors. The structure acts as substrate for the kelp. For design optimisation Kelp Blue wants to monitor the loads occurring within the structure of the farm.

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MARIN Report 134 Field measurements for large-scale kelp farm in Namibia
An important aspect in determining the monitoring system has been to think backwards, asking questions about what figures are needed and what is the underlying analysis. Subsequently the data that will be obtained needs to be processed and optimised so it can achieve the
monitoring objectives. The minimum monitoring system consisted of one wave buoy, three load cells and two accelerometers as shown in the figure. A discussion about potential uncertainties also took place.
Programming was performed in Python and resulted in an analysis suite.