Missions

Missions

SeaTrac operating in the field

On-Demand, Continuous Eelgrass Monitoring

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) is a valuable coastal habitat in Massachusetts, forming a complex underwater landscape that stabilizes seafloor and adjacent shoreline, filters the water of sediments and nutrients, and provides important habitat for shallow water species. South of Boston, the bays of Duxbury, Kingston and Plymouth (DKP) form a large embayment whose eelgrass population, once thriving, is now severely diminished.

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Real-Time HAB Monitoring in the Gulf of Maine

The Gulf of Maine supports productive shellfisheries that are frequently impacted by harmful algal blooms, causing annual shellfishing closures along a broad swath of the New England coast. Traditional toxin monitoring involves harvesting shellfish, testing the meat for toxins in a lab, and then shutting down fisheries when levels are too high. This approach is labor intensive and after the fact.

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Data Harvesting with Acoustic Modem

Researchers gain valuable information from battery-powered sensors deployed on the ocean floor, sometimes for months at a time. Retrieving data from these sensors typically involves sending out a ship: from a location directly above the sensor, an acoustic modem uploads or “harvests” the data from a sensor, before proceeding to the next sensor.

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Using an ASV as a Data Link

When operators need to interact with an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) that is busy running a mission, they typically rely on a laptop and a “deck box” with an acoustic modem from a chase boat. Additionally, due to the range limits of the acoustic modem, they need to be within range of the UUV, typically within roughly 1,000m.

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Missions