Computer science professor Ryan Kastner and PhD student Bridget Benson are teaming up with Calit2 to develop an autonomous craft to collect data on the environmental conditions in the world's coral reefs. As part of this project, the computer science is developing underwater transducer modems that would transmit data from underwater sensors to the Reefbot.
"As hard as oceanographers are working to understand what's happening to the reefs, they're collecting very little data. Graduate students are getting up at the break of dawn, going out on the boat and coming back at dusk having only collected a few data points, when they need hundreds of thousands of data points. Having an automated craft that could be programmed from a laptop to explore a range of many hundreds of miles would be invaluable," says Doug Palmer, Principal Development Engineer at the University of California, San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2).