Blog. Sort of. :)
The right time. The right whale. It is the day before halloween. Planning a halloween outing, or party, of course you have. Worked on the costumes for you children? It is that time of year.
Today I read about the right whale and that they are endangered. So what? Well for me, having spent countless day on the open oceans, it bothers me. I love the ocean. And seeing a whale is RARE. And to hear that one type of whale is close to extinction, it pulls my heart strings. What to do? And can a network save it? These right whales are big. 65 feet long. Easily put a small battery and gps on the whale. But how do you keep the battery charged? Need a motion activated charger, or charged by water pressure and water motion. But then how do you send the gps coordinates to land? If you had many network nodes at sea, you could relay the messages back to land. Most of the whales are killed by ship collisions. So the idea is, prevent the whale from colliding with a ship in transit. Prevent ship collision. The problem statement? Ship navigators dont know where the whales are, so let them know if a whale is going to collide with the ship. How so? Do you find the whales with ultrasound? How about track the whales with GPS? Attaching a gps on to a live whale is not easy. All sorts of obstacles, but this is 2020, and we can make electric cars with 250 mile range, we can send people to the moon, surely we can track some whales?
Underwater drone image from Kongsberg
Kongsberg drones Kongsberg
Back to the issue. The problem statement. ** Ship navigators dont know where the whales are, so let them know if a whale is going to collide with the ship.
Solution 1. Track the whales with GPS.
So lets put aside the fact that it is really difficult to attach a gps to a whale and also power it for say a year. But lets sayd we do that. Then how do we get the gps data back to land, or to the ships at sea?
Emit a signal from each whale that a ship can see.
Somehow emit a signal that a ship can detect, that would alert the navigator to plot a course around the whale. A rf transmitter on the whale, with a regnerating power supply. Problem solved?
As the ship moves through the water, find any whales in front of the ship. This could be done with drones that fly in front of the ship, dipping sonor transducers into the water. You would probably need several, depending on the speed and size of the ship. But such a expense would allow the ship to continue at full speed through the whale zone, with no fear of impact.
These are my thoughts to save a species. It can't be that hard, can it? Our machines, our creations, our ships are killing these whales. We can create something to save them. Lets do this.
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