142 Morse Hall
now collected multiple years of hourly bottom-water temperature from dozens
of locations off our coast,
since the eMOLT concept was first implemented,
when Marc Palombo deployed a Minilog
temperature probe off the side of the F/V Terri Ann nearly ten years ago,
fishermen have been looking for a real-time display of temperature.
The data they collect under the current protocol
often comes back to them many months after the observations are internally
recorded on the sensor. While lobstermen appreciate these data and
plots, most have expressed a desire to see
more immediate results. Ideally, lobstermen would like to know the
"real-time" bottom temperature while they are out fishing.
hearing this request from so many individuals,
we submitted a proposal to NOAA's
Small Business Innovative Research office a few years ago. SBIR then
issued a call to the high tech development community which responded
with nine full proposals. After a lengthy review process by
experts in submarine sensor systems, a company
will be selected in April 2004. In fact, the specifications of this
probe are being drawn up with input from the industry at the time of this
writing. The probe is to be engineered and prepared for the
commercial market within the next six months.
propose, therefore, to leverage this development/engineering
contract by purchasing a small set of these new units and introducing
them to the lobster community. Distributing a set of these probes
to our active participants, we expect, will spark even more interest in
the eMOLT project and provide both the incentive
and the equipment necessary to maintain our long-term monitoring objective.
the curiosity, enthusiasm, and genuine interest
the participants have shown to date with our current probes, we are
confident that the demand for this new type of probe exists. In fact,
if the cost of this new probe can be limited to a few hundred dollars,
we expect our participants, once introduced to the technology, will
be ready to invest in multiple units themselves. Discussions
are underway with Friendship Trap managers on the possibility of making
temperature probes a standard option on thousands (possibly millions) of
traps deployed in the
goal here, as in previous phases of NEC-funded eMOLT
projects, is only to demonstrate a concept. As in the case
of the salinity and drifter phases of eMOLT
for example, our objective was to demonstrate that lobstermen could
play an integral part of our region's ocean observing systems. They
have not only the platform to deploy instrumentation, but also knowledge
of the local waters, geography, topography, benthic habitats, tides,
other mariners that make use of their grounds, and much more.
are the specific details of this new probe under development? As
with the units we have been using to date, its primary function will
be to store/archive hourly bottom temperature data but will have the added
ability to display the recent history in real-time and record additional
variables such as pressure (depth). Depending on the firm that is
awarded the SBIR contract, this new functionality
will be accomplished in different ways. New technology allows
for transmitting data either a) acoustically
or fiber optically through the water while still deployed, b) wirelessly
while on deck, or c) directly to a satellite receiver from a surface
buoy. If a combination of these techniques is funded by SBIR,
we will test multiple options.
low-cost telemetry techniques we successfully implemented for our "SMCCeMOLT
model II" drifters in Phase IV can now
be rigged as fixed units to send bottom temperature as a data stream rather
than a position. The objective, in any of these cases,
is for the lobstermen to obtain the realtime
readings without having to alter his or her routine. In discussions
with the various industry representatives thus far, the ability to deploy
a large set of low-cost temperature sensors is preferred to just a few
overly expensive high-tech units. The added data stream of
probe pressure (ie depth) will help alleviate
the uncertainty associated with trap repositioning.
are the incentives to continue the temperature phase of eMOLT?
First, we have recently coordinated efforts with Canadian colleagues.
The Fishermen and Scientist Research Society (FSRS based in
will be needed in terms of support? As in previous phases of eMOLT,
the primary cost of this project is in outreach/education activity.
Industry personnel (ie "association representatives")
will be tasked to communicate with participants about the project protocol.
Participants need to be trained and reminded of the deployment documentation
procedures on a regular basis. They need to be contacted every few
months to ensure that the probes are deployed and that the mooring logs
are properly maintained. Given that the participants are busy
fishing and difficult to get a hold of, this is no easy job. We
hope to maintain the same level of support funding, therefore, as in previous
phases with some modification in the administrative procedures. Where money
was allocated to each association in the past, the distribution will now
be allocated based on documented effort. A strict accounting of hours-spent,
phone-calls made, and meetings-attended
will be implemented to justify salary reimbursements of each administrator.
In other words, administrators will be directly compensated for the work
they conduct and the data returned. Since the cost of the instrumentation
in this phase is relative small, we expect to request nearly half of what
we did in the most recent phase, approximately $100K. Now that association
representatives are supplied with laptops and LCD projectors,
a minimal supply of office equipment and software updates is needed.
hope to evolve with new technology,
maintain our relationship with a large network of cooperative fishermen,
and respond to the needs of both industry and science in order to
keep the eMOLT project alive.We
appreciate the support the NEC has provided to eMOLT
in previous phases and hope to continue this relationship as we move the eMOLT
JiM, Patrice, Erin, Dave, Jeremy, and Bonnie