The dynamic motion responses of buoy hulls employed in deep ocean systems are often a critical factor affecting the operability of data links, sensors, or other components. The degree of coupling between the buoy and the wave surface, and consequently the expected motion characteristics are commonly described in terms of “surface following” and “surface piercing” behavior. However, as a basis for buoy hull selection and design, it is necessary to fully evaluate the expected performance of the buoy, based on static and dynamic motion responses in a realistic seaway, in the context of the mission constraints as well as the wave properties at the deployment site. A comparison of several different buoy shapes is described, and it is shown that mission requirements, operational constraints, and location can significantly alter the selection of the best hull shape for each set of conditions.

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