Sea Technology

FEB 2017

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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www.sea-technology.com February 2017 / st 37 I n recent years, partici- pation in citizen sci- ence projects has grown and has become an Earth observing system of its own. In the ocean scienc- es, scientists are develop- ing new methods based on citizen science. For example, citizen scien- tists are helping scientists monitor water parameters such as transparency and color as volunteers from around the world receive training to create their instruments to measure these parameters. These devices are known as do- it-yourself technology. An example is the KdUINO buoy, a moored system with low-cost sen- sors based on the open hardware platform Ar- duino and quasi digital- optical light sensors that measure a parameter related to water transparency, the dif- fuse attenuation coefficient. The buoy also has a real-time clock and an SD memory card to save data and the time of the measurements. The price of the build material is around $100, at least 10 times less than the cost of a classical instru- ment that measures the same parameter. Research engineers at the Institute of Marine Science – CSIC, Spain originally designed the buoy. They made video tutorials and docu- mentation of the step-by-step assembly process and devel- oped workshops for high schools and interested volunteers. Because the design contains open software and hardware, each "maker" adapts the design to their needs. In this article, we study the feasibility of using the KdU- INO under extreme environmental conditions. The goal is to place the buoys in high-latitude areas where conventional measuring systems are harder to use. We would like to analyze the diffuse attenuation co- efficient in these places to improve understanding of the aquatic environment and the interaction of light with the biodiversity in those zones. Volunteers tested KdUINOs in Canada and Antarctica. The proper operation of the buoy in those climates during test- ing demonstrates that the KdUINO can be used for long-term studies in high- latitude areas. Diffuse Attenuation Coefficient The sun as an energy source plays a significant role as the moderator of climate on Earth and of the global carbon cycle. In aquatic ecosystems, the pen- etration of solar radiation takes on the role of a major factor. According to the Beer-Lambert Law, light is extin- guished exponentially in the water column. As we go fur- ther down in depth, the extinction of light is faster. The exponent of this attenuation function is called the light diffuse attenuation coefficient (K d ), which has many applications in optical oceanography because it is related to the concentration of optically active components such as phytoplankton, sediment and dissolved organic matter. The methodology to calculate K d is by measuring the light intensity at different depths; it can also be estimated using remote sensing data. Citizen Science in High-Latitude Ecosystems KdUINO Buoy to Support Data Gathering in Extreme Environments By Raul Bardaji • Dr. Mairi Best • Dr. Jaume Piera This map shows where the KdUINO has been used around the world. Volunteers installed KdUINOs in the Pyrenees, Canada and Antarctica.

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