Sensors: Underwater Research of the Future (SURF Center)
The Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) pumps water through a filter and retains all particles/organisms larger than 0.2 micrometers. Using molecular biology techniques on the filtered material, the ESP can:
- Identify the type and quantity of microorganisms and animals present in the water,
- Monitor the appearance of toxins and other biological compounds, and
- Investigate how marine microbes respond to seasonal variation and a changing climate
Data from these tests can be sent to shore in near real-time, allowing scientists and policy makers to make rapid decisions related to beach safety or shellfish harvesting. Additionally, the persistent presence of the ESP allows for the capture of episodic or very short-lived events.