1 March 2002
Network distributed scientific lab
The southeastern U.S. is home to 80 million people and accounts for more than half of the nation's tidal shores. The region supports five naval bases, more than a dozen major ports, essential commercial shipping and fishing enterprises, major oil and natural gas reserves, and thriving tourist industries.
There's plenty of reason to implement an integrated coastal and ocean observing system to protect the region's environment and economic marine resources from myriad dangers, including sediment and nutrient input, storms, and hurricanes.
Add to those reasons homeland security, and the greasing of the financial wheels to pull off such a network of distributed sensors and linked computer models is well under way. The cost will be about $16 million.
The Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA, www.sura.org) is proposing the project and said the network will provide simultaneous measurements of winds, waves, currents, water density, nutrients, water quality, biological indices, and fish stocks under all conditions.
There are a number of existing systems that are not fully compatible. SURA's Southeastern Coastal Ocean Observing Program, or SCOOP, will try to knit together these small monitoring programs operating along the coast from the Gulf of Mexico all the way around Florida and up to the Chesapeake Bay.
Also, scientists want to tether scientific instruments to towers owned by the Navy and attach sensors to anchored buoys or new, unmanned vessels that can be programmed to swim through ocean water and record whatever they find. IT
InTech senior technical editor Nicholas Sheble edits Fieldbus News. Contact him at email@example.com.
Return to Previous Page