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 -
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.
Researchers Say 'Biohybrid Robot' - Clarke Said 'Biot'
'... The 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.
TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...'
Autonomous Robots Navigate Like Rats
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.'
SINTEF Robot Cleans Solar Panels
'The window cleaners, with large padded feet...'
Pangorin Restaurant Service Robots
What'll you have? Jawa juice?
Drug Creates Real Melanin Tan
I've used them all my life...
Medical Drones Hover Like Angels Near You
'The death-reversal equipment is on its way...'
SkEye Amazing Israeli Gigapixel Drone
'An eye that could not only see, but fly...'
How Rude! DARPA Wants Robots To Behave More Like Threepio
'Do I know protocol? Why, it's my primary function.'
'Liquid Light' Flows Around Corners
Light as a superfluid.
Unrolling The Filmy Materials Of Space Tech
'When unfolded and unrolled... it became a tough, gleaming film.'
Buddy Companion Robot Your Bulbous Friend
'Nanny was built in the shape of a sphere, a large metal sphere, flattened on the bottom...'
Poli-X1 Prototype Bee Pollinator
Is there anything drones can't do?
Bake in Space Bake-Off... In Space!
'A joyous condition commenced for the cook in the electric kitchen...'
DeepMind AI Baffled By Homer Simpson, Needs Human Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off...'
Does Earth's Middle Mantle Hold Oceans Of Water?
Al Gore, you have no idea.
Vaccine Blocks Heroin High
'You're biochemically incapable of getting off...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories