HIGHWAVE uses real-time raw data harvested by the project team to develop new mathematical models of breaking waves, onshore and at sea.

Breaking Onset and Dissipation
Our observations on Inis Meáin will feed new mathematical models with data to make wave breaking predictions more accurate.

Breaking and Wave Loads
Breaking waves are able to concentrate huge amounts of energy, we aim to better understand the effect of this on coastal and offshore structures.

Breaking Wave Erosion
Their fast water and concentration of energy means breaking waves carry more sediment and rock, increasing coastal erosion.

Real-time Measurements
Our measurements of the sea around Inis Meáin will be available to our researchers fast, allowing for real-time models and predictions.

Measurement Equipment
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Acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCP) are placed on the seabed and measure the water velocity throughout the water up to the sea surface. This ADCP is seen on the deployment vessel, ready to be installed.


Spotter buoys float on the sea surface and use accelerometers and a GPS to measure wave heights, frequencies, and their own positions. Our two Spotter buoys, named Explorer and Wanderer, send wave height and position data via satellite to the project’s repository ready for immediate use in our analysis and models.

Portable observation devices (POD) are placed on Inis Meáin’s sheer cliffs and allow us to measure the state of the sea and transmit the data to our mobile research station. The PODs are manufactured from large pipes with clear windows that allow a line-of-sight with the sea and our data receivers.


Sand dunes on the north-eastern coast of Inis Meáin perform an important task of protecting the coast and airport from the breaking waves. In the HIGHWAVE project, we hope to use the data and knowledge we collect to better protect these sand dunes. The images below show large gaps in the already eroded dunes.



Mobile research station (left) and mobile workshop unit (right) are integral parts of our data communication network. Data are relayed in real-time through the mobile research station to a mast above Ros a’ Mhíl and on to our researchers.

Staff Profiles
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Prof. Frédéric Dias, the project leader, is based at University College Dublin in the School of Mathematics and Statistics. Frédéric’s research group have expertise in many aspects of oceanography, from wave and current interactions to tsunami waves. Frédéric often visits Inis Meáin and Ros a’ Mhíl.

Arnaud, the project engineer resides in Connemara but is a very frequent visitor to Inis Meáin, attending to the project’s sensor network. Arnaud has a comprehensive maritime background and holds the world record for the furthest maritime broadband transmission of 19 nautical miles.