About the Project:
The project objective is to develop and demonstrate an integrated sensing system for unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) monitoring of infrastructure, macroalgae growth, water properties, and associated organisms on offshore macroalgae farms. The sensing payload will include acoustic echo sounders (monitoring longline array infrastructure, macroalgae on long-lines and fish/zooplankton in water column), a nitrate sensor (nutrients), a panoramic camera system with laser scaler (for close inspection of infrastructure and anomalies), a fluorometer, and a CTD package for collecting temperature and salinity data. Large quantities of data will be collected over the course of the project on farm sites throughout the growth cycle, with a focus on measuring growth acoustically, mapping environmental properties, and determining which imaging data is most valuable. The final UUV-based system will be able to operate autonomous in real conditions offshore to quantify growth patterns and nutrient levels versus time.