Equipment / OceanObserver Spar Buoy

Intelligent acoustic monitoring on a robust, quiet platform

JASCO's underwater acoustic recorder and oceanographic observatory, the Autonomous Multichannel Acoustic Recorder Generation 3 (AMAR G3).

The OceanObserver™ Spar Buoy provides a robust, quiet platform for ocean sound monitoring and telemetry, optionally also including non-acoustic data. The OceanObserver system offers many options for data acquisition and real-time transmission of raw sampled time series or derived information from on-board signal processing. Acoustic and oceanographic sensors, including arrays, can be suspended at any depth in the water column. The buoy is tethered to an anchor or lander assembly through a standard mooring line or an electro-mechanical cable; the OceanObserver electronics can be housed in the buoy or on the lander.

The Spar Buoy has less mass and surface volume than a traditional discus buoy and exerts less force on the mooring system, allowing for a lighter mooring and anchor assembly. The inverse catenary design, which isolates the lower section of cable from surface wave motion for quieter acoustic monitoring, is easy to deploy and retrieve and is optimized for the intended water depth range.

Built for harsh marine environments, the Spar Buoy withstands polar temperatures and tolerates light surface ice and extreme sea states. All power and electronic components, including communications antennae, are sealed inside the buoy’s robust polyethylene hull.

  • Single hydrophone, or multi-hydrophone linear, planar, or spatial arrays

  • Automated real-time marine mammal detection and reporting

  • Endures long periods at sea without servicing

  • Powered by batteries or fuel cell

  • Ideal for low-sunlight environments that preclude solar power

  • Meets maritime buoy safety regulations


Customized detectors and processing

At close ranges, the buoy can transmit the raw data via Wi-Fi or cellular. At long ranges via radio or satellite, it transmits processed information products of your choice, including cetacean detections, impulse sound event statistics, and ambient noise quantification. Our experienced bioacousticians tailor the detection algorithms by species and call type.

For long range low-bandwidth telemetry, the OceanObserver processor converts the detection spectrograms into pitch tracks that can be relayed via satellite. Concurrent detections are associated to provide contextual information for onshore analysts.

Spec pitchtrack overlay


Buoy dimensions:    ⌀0.5 × 6 m
Buoy mass:               Up to 400 kg
Water depth:            50–2500 m

Communications:    Cellular
Iridium RUDICS or SBD
VHF or
Acoustic modem

Power:                      Battery
55 W fuel cell with 2 field-replaceable fuel bladders
Others upon request



Datasheet for OceanObserver Spar Buoy
Letter size (PDF)

OceanObserver / AMAR G4 Comparison Brochure
Descriptions and specifications for OceanObserver components
Letter size (PDF)

 Contact us for pricing and customization options.