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 -
Hackers Insert Malware Into DNA
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!' -
Worms Eat Plastic Now
'Slowly and inexorably, the rate of dissolution increased...' - Davis/Pedlar, 1971.
Mini-Brains In A Dish
'Cultured brains on a slab.' - Peter Watts, 1999.
NASA's Prototype Lunar Greenhouse For Mars And Moon
'In contrast to the airless desolation outside, the interior of this five-acre greenhouse was the one most desirable place to be.' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1951.
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.
3D Printed Artificial Muscles Are Stronger Than Yours
Bots don't need to work out.
Fog Computing (AKA Edge Computing) Ad Hoc Networks
'The tiny devices chirped their impulse codes at one another...'
Dubai Scorpion Police Hoverbike Ready To Pull Young Kirk Over
'Is there a problem, officer?'
HEXA Robotic Help For Plants
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out."
Korean Tesla Model S Video 'Excelsior' Is Indeed Our Motto
'Improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the country well...'
DIY Robot Shoots You In The Face
'...there were automatic guns that fired ligamine darts.'
A Bayesian Approach to Safe Imitation Learning For AIs and Robots
Um, how about that pension for the humans who serve as the models for robot behavior?
Qoobo Headless Robotic Therapy Cat Was Anne McCaffrey's Idea
'...used as surrogates in intense dependency cases.'
Autonomous Cars Talk To Each Other At MCity
'My cars talk to one another.'
PUFFER Robots - From Philip K DIck's Second Variety?
'Across the ground something small and metallic came, flashing in the dull sunlight of midday.'
Russian Space Garden
'We saw the gardens, flooded with artificial sunlight...'
Targeted Neuroplasticity Training For 'Downloading Skills'
'I know kung-fu.'
U of M's MCity To Feature Asimov's Automatobuses
Should you turn autonomous buses off?
Crazyflie Drone Swarm Technology
'...Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.'
Our GodBot, Who Art In Cyberspace
Vaal hungers! We must serve him.
easyJet Short-Haul Electric Jets
Have a little faith, will you? They're working on it.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories