Scientist Survey Tidal Test Site Area in Cape Cod Canal

Scientists from UMass Dartmouth have deployed equipment to photograph the bottom of the Cape Cod Canal where a tidal test site will be installed in the fall 2016. 

They lowered a tripod camera, called the Inshore Pyramid Camera, down to take detailed video of what the sea floor in the Cape Canal looks like.

The photographs will be analyzed by the team to determine what types of organisms, plants and fish can be found there. They can also tell what type of material is on the bottom such as sand, silt, mud or gravel. All this information is going to be used to determine the best spot to place the structure that will hold the experimental turbines. The survey will be repeated after turbine testing to determine if there is any impact on the ecosystem, MRECo New England explained.

The second survey, performed by Teledyne RI Instruments of Poway, and 3-D WaterCube mapped the water flows and velocities in the water near the railroad bridge.

They used a remotely operated surface vehicle, called O-Boat, equipped with a Teledyne RI acoustic dopler current profiler (ADCP). O-Boat surveys the water column looking for “sweet spots” where the water turbulence is particularly energetic and may be a good place to set up the tidal test structure.

This information will be important in developing an installation plan for the test structure, MRECo added.

Once the test site is installed it will be sending water velocity data as well as underwater video of the turbine(s) to interested parties.

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