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Observing Arctic marine life, from the seabed to space

A graphic exhibiting the observational pyramid, through which the identical space is monitored at completely different ranges on the identical time. Credit: Division of Engineering Cybernetics, NTNU

In late May, NTNU researchers and college students used a small satellite tv for pc, an unmanned aerial automobile, two unmanned boats and subsea robots to survey the identical space concurrently. That is an strategy referred to as an observational pyramid.

The Arctic is each an fascinating and necessary space from which to look at local weather change. At this latitude, temperature and ecosystem modifications are evident sooner and clearer than in additional temperate areas. For Professor Geir Johnsen, one of many vital inquiries to ask—and reply—is what is occurring to phytoplankton, which type the bottom of the meals net.

“Are they growing? Are they in good shape? Are they dying? Are they in rave party mode?” he needs to know.

Environmental monitoring

The strategy the researchers have used, the observational pyramid, can be utilized to survey regular and harmful algal blooms and the sorts of modifications world warming is inflicting within the ocean in a extra steady means.

This is the observational pyramid:

  • NTNU’s first analysis satellite tv for pc, HYPSO-1, with a hyperspectral imager.
  • One aerial drone with a hyperspectral imager, so-called UAV (Unmanned Aerial Car)
  • Unmanned boats with each underwater hyperspectral imager, acoustic sensors, and different varieties of sensors, so-called USVs (Unmanned Floor Automobiles).
  • Subsea robots, referred to as AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Automobiles).
  • Biologists taking water samples to supply species particulars, photosynthesis knowledge, health condition and optical fingerprints to determine what the unmanned autos register. This was a part of the UNIS course “Light and primary production in the Arctic.”

“This concept can be developed and streamlined, especially when it comes to faster data interpretation. We have worked with biologists to customize this approach, according to what they need, but it can be used for other purposes as well,” says Asgeir J. Sørensen, a professor of marine cybernetics and Director of NTNU AMOS.

One driver for this growth is the lengthy collaboration with Equinor to develop strategies and applied sciences to observe the offshore oil and fuel surroundings, in addition to offshore renewable power programs.

Sørensen identified that the aquaculture industry may also profit from more practical and automatic methods of monitoring and surveying fish welfare situations, and the surroundings close to the fish pens.

This know-how may also be used to be taught extra about freshwater programs in Norway, such because the nationwide efforts to observe the environmental well being of Mjøsa Lake, Norway’s largest.

An automatic coast guard

Think about an automatic coast guard beneath the ocean surface that screens ocean well being and site visitors within the ocean house. That is basically what this strategy presents, the researchers say.

Hyperspectral maps and aerial drones mixed with unmanned floor autos and subsea drones can be utilized on the identical time to gather extra knowledge over a shorter timeframe.

“This will give us more knowledge and a better understanding of what is going on in the ocean,” Sørensen says.

Quite a lot of grasp’s college students, Ph.D. candidates and postdocs participated within the experiment.

“This could lead to new industries, value creation and new workplaces in Norway in the near future,” Sørensen says.

The primary take a look at of the observational pyramid was achieved in shut collaboration between the University of Tromsø and UNIS–the University Centre in Svalbard and several other departments at NTNU. Researchers from each the U.S. and Australia got here to Ny-Ålesund to see the observational pyramid in motion.

Shape-shifting drone flies and dives to find aquatic environmental clues

Observing Arctic marine life, from the seabed to house (2022, June 21)
retrieved 21 June 2022

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