URI Pacer Vol. 17, No. 1 September 1999.
receive $2.9 Million grant for water sampling technology
water sampling technology
Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) Marine Research Scientists
Percy Donaghay and Margaret Dekshenieks have been awarded a $2.9 million grant
by the National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP) to develop and test a new
technology for sampling coastal waters. The award will be shared with two
commercial and three federal partners, with URI receiving $1.1 million over
three years. The highly competitive grant was awarded to fund one of the five
proposals awarded this year.
partnership is centered around the development of the Ocean Response Coastal
Analysis System (ORCAS), a new sys-tem of automated oceanographic profilers and
sensors that will monitor biological, physical, chemical, and optical parameters
within the ocean, in three-dimensional space, over time. The profilers are
designed to determine how the coastal environment responds to environmental
events such as harmful algal blooms, low oxygen, and storms, among others.
partners are very excited about this project. It represents a unique opportunity
to make a quantum leap in our ability to observe the coastal ocean while
simultaneously transitioning research discoveries into commercial products with
broad application,” said Donaghay.
extremely proud of the work of these scientists.
Their efforts to provide the sophisticated tools needed to monitor our
coastal waters are crucial to enhancing our under-standing of both the human and
natural impacts on this precious environment,” said URI President Robert L.
Carothers. “This partnership
award is also just one more example of how URI’s Graduate School of
Oceanography and the Ocean Technology Center are at the forefront, bridging the
gap between scientific endeavors and creating rich economic development
component of the profiler design is a novel underwater winch that was developed
by Donaghay with funding from the URI Ocean Technology Center (URI-OTC) and the
One of the
commercial partners, SubChem Systems Inc., of Jamestown, R.I., will receive
$600,000 to apply a new submersible technology that allows nutrients to be
measured in real time at higher spatial resolution and lower concentrations than
is currently possible. SubChem Systems is a small environmental company that was
founded in 1996 by GSO Marine Research Scientist, Alfred K. Hanson.
commercial partner is WET Labs, Inc., of Philomath, Ore. WET Labs will develop
the next generation of underwater optical systems. These systems will have
sufficient on-board computer power to control the profilers and process the data
in real time. The federal partners, who will be involved in the design and
evaluation of the systems, include the Naval Research Laboratory and the Naval
Meteorology and Oceanography Command, both in Stennis Space Center, Miss.; and
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Gulf Breeze, Fla. All the partners
are contributing internal matching funds, raising the total level of research
funding to $4.4 million. In the
first year of the grant, field-testing will take place in Narragansett Bay.
Subsequent field-testing is planned in concert with the federal partners in the
Gulf of Mexico.
At the close of the three-year grant period, the partners anticipate that the new profiling technology will aid in the development of early warning capabilities and predictive models for episodic events in the marine environment that could be used by federal, state and local agencies.
Copyright © 1998
SubChem Systems, Inc.