Smart Buoys Say 'Slow Down, Whale Crossing'
The thirteen buoys of the Right Whale Listening Network listen for endangered right whales crossing shipping channels, and provide a warning to ships to slow down. The smart buoys were developed at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
(Right whale call snapshot)
The busy shipping lanes in Massachusetts Bay have been the site of deadly collisions between the gentle whales and merchant ships. The Right Whale Listening Network uses auto-detection smart buoys with a listening radius of five miles to recognize the right whale's call; the buoys record the sound and upload it to the network's website and to the Northeast U.S. Right Whale Sighting Advisory System, operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Only about 400 right whales remain; the Listening Network was specifically designed in response to the development of a new liquefied natural gas terminal built offshore of Boston. NOAA mandated the development of the system to prevent collisions between 50 ton right whales and 90,000 ton supply tankers. The whales are also a source of tourist-related revenue for the region; see this right whale video.
(Right whale with calf)
The Lab or Ornithology will operate the buoy array over the expected 40 year life of the gas terminal under a $47 million contract. LNG tankers must slow to 10 knots in response to buoy alerts.
"For the first time, we can go online and hear up-to-the-minute voices of calling whales, and see where those whales are in the ocean off Boston and Cape Cod," said Christopher Clark, director of the Bioacoustics Research Program at the Lab of Ornithology. "Better yet, those calls immediately get put to use in the form of timely warnings to ship captains."
I think this kind of interspecies communication and cooperation is kind of science-fictional. If you liked this story, you might also want to read about a group of scientists who have recorded calls from a whale that seems to be the only one of its kind; see The Loneliest Whale and Ray Bradbury.
Read more at Cornell.edu and listenforwhales.org.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/29/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Thank goodness for Star Trek.
Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Consumer DNA services are often inaccurate.
Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Sounds like '60s sci-fi to me.
Researchers Create Bowls, Coils, Ripples Of Living Tissue
'... biological robots were not living creatures.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1972.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'
Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'
Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'
Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'
IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'
Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'
Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'
Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'
BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'
Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'
IONITY Opens First 10 Fast-Charging Stations
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'
Superstrong Multilayer Metal-Graphene Composite Material
Negligible increase in weight increased material strength by hundreds of times.
Deepfakes Imperil Democracy (George Orwell, Right Again)
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'
String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.
Still Wondering If You'd Work For A Robot Boss?
'This is all coming to you courtesy of the simstim unit wired into your deck, of course.'
World's First Autonomous Tram In Germany
What's it like for autonomous trams when they're turned off at night?
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories