Winter Observations Using Autonomous Mobile Platforms

Observations of winter ecology are largely neglected but recent indications are that winter conditions, and some Great Lakes biological processes (nearshore and offshore), are important and set the stage for spring and summer production. However, data collections during the winter months are difficult to make from research vessels as they may not have access to the lake, and if lake access is available, conditions can be unsafe due to extreme cold, lake ice, icing on vessels, and severe storms.

This project will integrate and apply available autonomous (un-crewed) technologies with remote sensing capabilities for measuring environmental conditions and the winter spatial distribution and abundance of important food web components (i.e., zooplankton, Mysis and pelagic planktivorous fishes).

FY2022: $300,000

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