A lake covered in green, thick algae is not only unpleasant to look at, it can also mean that natural toxins are negatively impacting other organisms in the lake.
To better understand the health of lakes, Assistant Professor Branko Kerkez is developing an autonomous unmanned boat attached with temperature sensors to define hypoxic or dissolved oxygen areas in Michigan's smaller lakes.
Outputs of a coupled hydrodynamic and limnological model will be used to derive a preliminary and optimal sampling path for the boat. The path of the vehicle is then changed in real time to maximize the value of collected data.
Kerkez and his students are testing a prototype of the boat in Ann Arbor’s Sister Lakes. The goal is to use this platform in the future to capture readings inside Lake Erie, an area with a history of hypoxic problems.
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