Date of Award

Fall 2008

Project Type


Program or Major

Ocean Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

James D Irish


The 20-ton capacity feed buoy in operation at the Atlantic Marine Aquaculture Center's offshore demonstration site continues to serve as a leading model for marine aquaculture in the energetic ocean environment. Previous modeling and analysis proved survivability of the feed buoy in harsh storm driven seas, however, a field study was not performed at, or after, the time of deployment. This field program was conducted to find the dynamic responses of the buoy due to environmental forcing. Analysis of fair weather data shows small feed buoy responses in heave, surge, and pitch toward lower frequency waves commonly associated with storm events in the Gulf of Maine. Additionally, the study illustrated that higher frequency waves, which do not present any danger to the feed buoy or mooring, will excite the system. In general, feed buoy behavior is consistent with previous modeling, ensuring its survivability at the demonstration site.