Pole Buoy

PIFSC Spar Buoy (page in progress)

The purpose of the PIFSC buoy is to help track, find, and support the drifting recorder. We will be using these on the CCES 2024 cruise along with our pole buoys. The PIFSC buoy consists of;

  1. Aluminum Pole: 9’ length, 1.25” 6063 aluminum round tube
  2. Lead Weight: approximately 17 lbs, attached to the bottom of the pole to keep buoy vertical
  3. Crab Floats: to keep pole buoy floating, with bolts above and below it to keep it from sliding along the pole
  4. Bridle: 12 strand line that links the pole buoy to the rest of the drifting recorder setup and arrray
  5. Radar reflector: so ships can see the pole buoy
  6. GPS mount: to hold the solar GPS and strobe light

Pole Buoy Assembly

  1. Prepare the bridle:

    • There should be 3 pieces of clear abrasion resistant hose along with the 12-strand thick blue/green line in the tote

    • The bridle will have 3 loops in it: two go around the pole (1 loop below the crab floats, 1 loop above the crab floats) and one loop is in the middle to attach to the rest of the gear

    • These loops get a BIG workout– put the hose on the line at each of these loops to minimize abrasion of the line during deployment

  2. Put lower loop of bridle onto the pole

  3. Add crab floats:

    • Put 2 orange crab floats onto the pole so that the flat ends of the crab floats butt up against each other

    • There are bolts that go through the pole at the top and bottom of the floats to help keep them in place

    • We have also been putting a hose clamp between the buoys & the bolts, and then wrapping this in electrical tape

  4. Radar reflector and GPS mount:

    • At the top are the radar reflector and the GPS mount

    • The radar reflector goes over the pole, and then the GPS mount is inserted into the top of the pole

    • A bolt (currently attached to the GPS mount) holds both in place

    • The pole, reflectors, and GPS mounts are labeled A, B, C to identify sets that fit well together previously

  5. Strobe Light- Prior to deployment, add batteries & zip tie the strobe onto the GPS mount

  6. Add reflector tape to the pole below the radar reflector


Note: We are still working on improving this design– all suggestions are welcome!

See Alternative Pole Buoy Configurations for previous/alternative Pole Buoy configurations