The CIU operate five tide gauges on islands around the Torres Strait. At each measurement site, there are two sensors which provide data correlation plus redundancy in case of equipment failure. Solar power has also been installed capable of providing one week of back up battery and capable of charging the system with one full day of solar activity. Recorded data is stored in a data logger recording multiple input every minute – it is capable of holding the data for minimum nine months. The data from the logger is transmitted to DSITI via a 3G mobile data connection.
All sites are working well with the exception of one – Ugar. There is a hill between the Instrumentation and the closest mobile tower, located 30 km away on Yorke Island in the South West, which occasionally blocks the RF signal.
Upon initial installation, standard equipment was utilised. Poor mobile data problems were detected causing intermittent 3G data service coverage and irregular information downloads from the gauge. In response, further equipment including a satellite modem, was added.
From installation in November 2013 until the second maintenance visit in November 2015, Ugar site information had to be manually downloaded and then manually entered into a database. Unfortunately there was no appropriate solution available for extending the mobile signal.