Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Lake Superior to be examined by Robot Divers

Robot divers to report on Lake Superior's depths
by Dan Kraker, Minnesota Public Radio
DULUTH, Minn. — With its frigid, often ice-choked water and legendary storms, Lake Superior can be a dangerous place for scientists to conduct research. "In Lake Superior, the season where it's nice to go out there is relatively short," University of Minnesota Duluth physics professor Jay Austin said. But he said "there's science year round out there." Aiming to tap the wealth of information deep inside Lake Superior, Austin and other researchers are preparing to send two mechanical divers in the big, cold lake for a long time. They plan to test one of the divers Wednesday. Funded by a $485,000 National Science Foundation grant, the new devices, called "Autonomous Moored Platforms," will travel up and down the depths on cables anchored to the lake bottom. They'll collect readings on water temperature, currents and a long list of other data points. In the long run they could actually save researchers money. A single day on a research vessel costs roughly $7,000. Austin, lead investigator on the new project at the school's Large Lakes Observatory said the technology will offer a view of Lake Superior science has never had before.

I wonder if they will find Pressie the Lake Superior Serpent?

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