Two autonomous underwater vehicles are drifting through Lake Ontario, monitoring a slew of environmental metrics, according to a release from New York Sea Grant. The high-tech equipment is recording data on fish productivity, food web changes and algae levels.
Each AUV weighs 42 pounds, is six and a half feet long and has a slew of sensors, including side scan sonar and 10-beam Doppler. Mapping capability complements collected parameters like temperature, turbidity, pH and levels of oxygen and phosphorus, among others.
The research is made possible through the Cooperative Science Monitoring Initiative between the US and Canada called for under the Clean Water Act of 1972. The CSMI cycles its intensive monitoring activities through the five Great Lakes, one lake per year each five years.
Image: Mike Satchwell and Greg Boyer of SUNY ESF bring the AUV to the shoreline at SUNY Oswego (Credit: New York Sea Grant)