Falmouth, MA (PRWEB) January 10, 2014
Lowell Instruments has designed a new data logger that will be used in a NOAA Fisheries study to monitor lobster habitat in the North Atlantic. The MAT-1, when used with a tilt current meter, records ocean currents and temperatures on the sea floor. These data will help NOAA better model and understand the movements of the signature New England creature – the American Lobster.
The MAT-1 Data Logger is an autonomous device that includes a microprocessor, sensors, memory and battery inside a waterproof housing. The logger uses sensors that are typically found in smartphones and contains a microSD card commonly used in digital cameras for data storage. These mass-produced sensors and memory cards reduce the cost of the data logger.
Lowell Instruments developed the logger for the NOAA Fisheries Environmental Monitors On Lobster Traps program (eMOLT). eMOLT, a program that has been in existence for over 10 years, relies on volunteer fishermen to deploy and retrieve data loggers in the waters off of New England.
“The MAT-1 Data Logger will make it affordable to record currents on the bottom of the ocean in many locations for an extended time,” said Nick Lowell, President of Lowell Instruments. “The logger, when paired with a tilt current meter, is a much lower cost instrument than other current measurement devices. It would not be financially feasible for NOAA Fisheries to add current measurements to their lobster (study) program without the new data logger.”
The MAT-1 Data Logger is the most recent addition to eMOLT. New technology has helped drive the eMOLT program since its beginning. James Manning, an Oceanographer at NOAA Fisheries in Woods Hole MA, founded eMOLT. He started the program by attaching low-cost temperature sensors to the lobster traps, which the fishermen deployed in the Gulf of Maine and as far offshore as the edge of the continental shelf.
In 2007, Manning and scientist Vitalii Sheremet at the University of Rhode Island began working together to develop technology to measure bottom currents. Sheremet saw an opportunity to make a tilt current meter using small inexpensive data loggers with built-in accelerometers. Early trials looked promising, but the existing data loggers had very limited memory and battery life, and they could not record current direction or water temperature.
So in 2012 Manning and Sheremet contacted Lowell Instruments and developed plans for the MAT-1 Data Logger. “The combination of Vitalii's analytical inventiveness and Nick's technical skills has created a [current meter] that will be an affordable addition to the next generation's oceanographer toolbox, and the data it generates should help tune models a bit closer to reality,” said Manning.
It is expected that Lobstermen will deploy hundreds of Lowell’s loggers throughout the Gulf of Maine in the next phase of eMOLT.
“We are filling in the gaps with more data,” said Lowell. “Instead of taking snapshots we are making a movie.”
Pricing and Availability
The MAT-1 Data Logger is available immediately from Lowell Instruments. Please visit http://www.lowellinstruments.com/products/mat-1-data-logger for complete pricing details and technical specifications.
About Lowell Instruments:
Lowell Instruments, LLC was founded in 2012 to provide advanced data loggers, software and instrumentation to the international scientific and engineering community. The objective of Lowell Instruments is to help scientists, engineers and otherwise curious people achieve their research goals by providing reliable, easy to use and affordable instrumentation. Lowell Instruments is led by its founder, Nick Lowell, and has a team of advisers who help with the strategic direction of the company. The company also employs a variety of engineers and technically minded people to help with the development, testing, documentation and support of its products.