Cousteau Divers: Project Hermes

Cousteau Divers brings together divers, scientists, managers and engineers worldwide to better understand the ocean and help monitor its vital signs.

The ocean is losing biodiversity at an alarming rate due to pollution, overfishing, and climate change. The ocean’s temperatures greatly influence the planet’s climate, weather, fish stocks, bird populations… yet a detailed understanding of how these temperatures vary at depth, at the scale of coastal ecosystems remains poorly known to science.

The Project

Project Hermes Remora device is an open-source, citizen science project for monitoring shallow coastal underwater temperatures using recreational scuba divers as sounding data platforms.

There is a lack of data about shallow coastal ocean temperatures. Project Hermes can help better understand how the ocean stores and releases energy, supplement existing satellite data, and overall contribute to better management of coastal ecosystems. 

The pilot phase is about to begin, deploying 50 ocean data platforms (Remoras) all around the world to scuba diving centers, liveaboards, and divers. 

 The Remora device is attached to a diver’s air tank. It takes GPS location before and after the dive, and measures temperature and depth with an accuracy that allows for ground truthing of satellite Sea Surface Temperatures. It autonomously sends the data to the cloud platform as soon as it comes within wifi range and can store over 50 dives on one power charge. Due to its modular design, it can easily be outfitted with additional sensors, such as conductivity, dissolved oxygen, etc… The sensors are mounted externally allowing to detect minute changes in the water column with great accuracy.

 The Team

Cousteau Divers is a non-profit organization dedicated to better understanding and protecting the ocean, leveraging citizen-science and conservation. Brad Bazemore and Brendon Walters, two volunteer engineers, assembled a team at Pendo to design the Remora in 2018. Their combined efforts over the past year has led to the successful first tests in September 2019. Blue Robotics have donated their time and expertise to assemble the Remora for the pilot launch.

Thanks to our generous sponsor IWC Schaffhausen, we will begin by deploying 50 Remoras worldwide throughout 2020.

Thanks also to Eumetsat, DAN Europe and University of Queensland for their guidance and support of the project since 2016.

Marine conservationist Pierre-Yves Cousteau launched Cousteau Divers in 2009. PYC launched a crowdfunding campaign for Project Hermes in 2015.