Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Unique Acoustic System Protects Manatees from Injuries and Death

06.06.2008
Researchers at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University have developed and improved upon a unique acoustic system designed to keep manatees from being injured or killed by flood gates and boat locks.

Locks are used on sections of a canal or river that may be closed off by gates to control the water level to enable the raising and lowering of boats passing through.

The “Manatee Acoustic Detection Sensor Protection System” is composed of an array of unique acoustic transmitters and receivers that provide non-contact detection of manatees as they pass through the gates of the lock. When a manatee blocks the acoustic beams, which they cannot hear, the gates stop and remain open long enough to allow them to pass through safely.

Harbor Branch recently received a $5.8 million federal contract from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to install the system in southern Florida on the six navigation locks around Lake Okeechobee. Among these are Moore Haven lock at Clewiston and the Port Mayaca lock where the St. Lucie River meets Lake Okeechobee, a waterway that links the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

Renowned as a hub of aquatic research, engineers at Harbor Branch designed manatee protective pressure systems more than a decade ago for canal lift gates used by the South Florida Water Management District. Last summer, the Harbor Branch manatee protection team installed the system on the Ortona Lock on the Caloosahatchee River which is part of the Okeechobee Waterway System operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps wanted a new system for lock gates that swing open too fast and sent out a public request for bids for replacement—Harbor Branch’s high frequency sound system won.

“This summer we’ll be entering into phase 2 of the second year of this important project and we will begin assisting with the installation of the devices at six locks in Lake Okeechobee,” said Larry Taylor, project manager for manatee protection systems at Harbor Branch. “We installed the prototype acoustic system about ten years ago in the St. Lucie lock. Since then, we have redesigned the system with underwater sensor cartridges. The device is now smaller, cheaper, faster and easier to operate.”

Aside from watercraft collisions, the highest incidence of human-caused mortality to manatees is due to entrapment in floodgates and canal locks. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, locks or gates caused at least 191 manatee deaths statewide since 1974. Manatees live in shallow, calm rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays, canals, and coastal areas. They move from fresh to salt water easily and the Florida manatee frequents most areas of Florida. It is estimated that there are approximately 3,000 Florida manatees in existence today.

“We are extremely proud to have received this federal contract to continue our efforts in safeguarding manatees,” said Dr. Shirley Pomponi, executive director at Harbor Branch. “This project is very important to the Army Corps of Engineers and is part of years-long efforts on their part to have prevention measures in place.”

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at FAU is one of the world's leading oceanographic research organizations dedicated to exploring the earth's oceans, estuaries and coastal regions for the benefit of mankind. Focus areas at Harbor Branch include aquaculture, biomedical marine research, engineering research and development, marine operations, marine science, and marine mammal research and conservation. Situated on 530 acres located along the Indian River Lagoon near Fort Pierce, Florida, Harbor Branch houses some of the world’s leading ocean science laboratories. To carry out its work, Harbor Branch operates an ocean going research vessel and submersibles capable of diving to, and working at, depths of 3,000 ft.

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts ten colleges: College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Barry Kaye College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.

Gisele Galoustian | alfa
Further information:
http://www.hboi.fau.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>