Microsoft partners with IMA on ocean pollution monitoring

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Local underwater quality testing has received a significant boost through a collective effort that utilises the latest, international technology to detect the levels of pollution in the sea, and its potential impact on aquatic life and the surrounding ecosystem.

Microsoft has partnered with the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA), Fujitsu and Digicel to generate a prototype that utilises Fujitsu GlobeRanger software, Microsoft Azure and a cellular connection from Digicel to gather critical data that will assist the IMA.

On Wednesday 29th March, the Water Quality Measurement project was introduced during a community symposium hosted by the IMA at the Chatham Community Centre in Chatham, which is located in the southwestern part of the country.

The symposium was attended by residents of the Chatham and neighbouring communities, as well as the Mayor of Point Fortin His Worship Abdon Mason, and representatives from the Ministry of Planning and Development, and the Siparia Regional Corporation.

Monique Ragbir, Marketing Communications Manager of Microsoft West Indies, who delivered remarks at the event, stated that the project is important for overcoming water pollution as it will provide the IMA with needed data that can shape their policies and activities.

“The real-time data we collect will enable us to firmly identify and find solutions for harmful physical and chemical conditions which can cause events such as a fish kill in the Gulf of Paria,” she said.

The project, which stems from an initial discussion between Microsoft and the IMA in September 2016, delivers a wireless sensor platform to simplify remote water quality monitoring. Underwater Libelium sensors and hardware will be placed on buoys in the Gulf of Paria for a three-month period, with the data collected from these sensors processed and analysed to provide critical insight into the levels of pollution.

In addition to the Libelium sensors and hardware, the solution utilises the Internet of Things (IOT) platform provided by Fujitsu GlobeRanger to filter and process all the information, the cloud platform by Microsoft Azure, and a digital cellular connection from Digicel.

Ragbir further stated that the collaboration illustrates the advancement this country can achieve through public-private partnerships.

“Microsoft’s collaboration with the Institute of Marine Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago – IMA, Fujitsu and Digicel has generated a prototype that melds our unique technologies in a truly ingenious way,” she said. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners who have worked assiduously to bring this project to life.”

Through the implementation of Microsoft Azure, the Water Quality Measurement project can access a collection of integrated cloud services that developers and IT professionals use to build deploy and manage applications through a global network of datacentres.

“Microsoft Azure will ensure that this project benefits from the most trusted cloud technology, a service that runs in more countries and regions than any other provider,” Ragbir said.