You’ve heard about government drones hunting terrorists? Well, a more low-key drone is headed our way –- one that will search for pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.
A new underwater robot, to be launched early next year, will help researchers at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science diagnose the health of the Chesapeake Bay and be available as a shared resource for scientists to use in coastal environments around the world, according to the university’s press office.
Shaped like a torpedo, the Kongsberg-Hydroid REMUS 600 is a 16-foot-long underwater robot with a propeller that follows preset commands to seek out and collect information underwater. The robot will serve as a window to the sea for scientists, school children, teachers and the general public. It will be delivered to the Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge, in March 2013, according to the university.
“The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science has long been a leader in coastal and estuarine research,” said UMCES President Don Boesch. “This powerful new technology puts our Horn Point Laboratory in the forefront for advancing studies of coastal waters, fish populations, harmful algal blooms, dead zones and changing climate.”
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By Tom Pelton
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
(Photo above from University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science/Kongsburg)