Sensors and Emerging Tech Help Drought Ravaged California

Emerging water technologies are receiving increased attention in media coverage of the California drought. This small piece of good news could help Clarkson University’s Beacon Institute and other institutions that want to speed the pace of innovation in sensor tech, real-time monitoring, analytics and more. Read on for some examples.

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Toledo, Jim Bonner and the Case for Real-Time Monitoring

What keeps Beacon Institute’s chief research officer Dr. James Bonner up at night? Toxic microbes. Most water consumers would be alarmed to understand the lag between sample collection and actual analysis results for some of our more dangerous pollutants. As the shut down of Toledo’s water supply demonstrated, real-time monitoring is the solution.

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Will Robot Fish Study Real Fish?

One objective of REON is highly accurate data gathering with minimal environmental disruption, a vision shared by a team of researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory who have developed a soft robotic fish they say could someday “infiltrate schools of real fish to gather detailed information about their behavior.” Click below for video and story.

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REON, Knots and River Pilots: Tradition Meets Innovation on the Hudson

The River and Estuary Observatory Network (REON) research team is working with the Hudson River Pilots Association to provide mariner-friendly data that will assist with safe passage of ships into the Port of Albany. As often happens, REON data first had to be translated into a usable form, in this case for the expert navigators of the association. This is not as straightforward as it might sound. Our engineers use the metric system and typically express the speed of river currents in centimeters per second, which is arcane enough for most of us. But the pilots have the engineers beat: they use “knots.” A knot is one nautical mile per hour, equal to 1.852 kilometers per hour or 1.51 miles per hour.

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What is Acoustic Backscatter and Why Should We Care?

Acoustic backscatter is a method we use for determining the concentration and movement of particles in river water. Why do we care about particles? One reason is that certain toxins, such as PCBs, attach themselves to river mud and silt, allowing them to be transported downriver by storm events.

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Hudson River Park Pier 26 "Estuarium" Project Awarded to Clarkson University

Clarkson University’s Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, and institutional partners NY Hall of Science and Hudson River Sloop Clearwater to lead the development and operations for new Tribeca river science and education facility in NYC.

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