April 27, 2000
Japan Marine Science and Technology Center

Communication Failure of TRITON Buoy No. 12

1. Situation

TRITON Buoy at No. 12 site (surface meteorology and upper ocean observing buoy installed at Lat. 2o N. and Long. 138o E. on October 25, 1999) of Japan Marine Science and Technology Center (President Takuya HIRANO) has ceased its data communication since 18:03, April 25, 2000 when Mutsu Office, Sekinehama, received the last data from the buoy. Considering that the positional information has continued being received, it may be assumed that the buoy in question is moored normally in place and is continuing the observation to gather oceanographic data by underwater sensors.

At present, Buoy Data Processing Team has been continuing to monitor the data processing system at Sekinehama buoy workshop. Since March 25, 2000, moreover, the positional information unit of TRITON Buoy at No. 13 site has ceased communicating (as already announced on March 28, 2000). As a result of the inspection made by the Indonesian Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) at the site on April 20, the buoy was found to have lost the equipment, such as electric controller, satellite communication unit and power supply unit, all accommodated in the floating body of the buoy as well as those data communication antenna, position transmitter, which had been installed when the previous restoration operation was done. This loss is artificial and an investigation is now under way.

2. Cause

The reason why TRITON Buoy at No. 12 site has ceased to communicate is presumably artificial damage as well as failure in the communication system (antenna, cable, communication equipment in the interior, etc.). A detail investigation into the cause of this problem is now under way.

3. Future Schedule

TRITON Buoy at No. 12 site is located near Indonesian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The BPPT, therefore, has been asked to inspect the site by a ship with JAMSTEC technical staff.@We at Japan Marine Science and Technology Center will inspect the@site again while simultaneously studying a drastic solution, including a modification of mechanisms in the TRITON buoy. (All dates and time indications are described in Japan standard time.)

Whom to Contact for further information:
Mr. NAKAMURA, phone +81-468-67-3936,
Research Support Coordination Division, Research Support Department, or
Mr. TAYA, KOBAYASHI or KIMURA, phone +81-468-67-3806,
Public Relations, Training and Education Division, Administration Department,
Japan Marine Science and Technology Center