Electronic Design

Lobster Fishing Goes Wireless

There's more to finding good lobster than just throwing out a trap. Commercial fishermen correlate water temperatures at the ocean floor with locations where lobsters are most abundant. Current thermal measuring devices feed readouts to data loggers attached to traps, but this data is only available once the fishermen retrieve the devices. A grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will enable Advanced Design Consulting to change that.

ADC is developing a miniaturized environmental monitoring system that will use RF communication to broadcast data to an inexpensive handheld computer, providing real-time temperature and ocean-depth information that could indicate where the best lobsters could be found. Housed in a 2- by 1-in. case, the sensor will run off of a circuit card that's about the size of a quarter. One antenna wrapped around the case will facilitate charging, while a second antenna wrapped around the case will read data and radio it to the handheld computer. The sensor will measure water temperature and pressure hourly up to a depth of 1300 ft. It can operate on battery power for a year without external recharging, with a usable life of at least 10 years.

For details, go to www.adc9001.com.

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