Submersible Dynamic Structure Sensor
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Submersible Dynamic Structure Sensor

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  • Description:
    Studies that estimate the net drag or energy dissipated due to living roughness such as coral often measure the static and dynamic pressure and velocity across the reef. In a Macrocystis Pyrifera forest the large flexible fronds can obscure instrumentation​, consequently there has been recent interest also in estimating the drag of individual fronds. Kelp fronds complicate the process of modeling the flows within and below the canopy as the clustering of the kelp and flexible nature of individual fronds insures a disrupted flow region. With the hope that future iterations will build upon the progress made, studies in these environments will be more thoroughly researched. This project is the first step towards this goal. Typical methods of measuring the force of drag across a body cannot be applied to measuring the drag in kelp forests, this is due to the complexity and variability of the orientation of the stipe, fronds, and pneumatocysts. This makes it difficult to predict the effect these forests will have on shorelines, and how well these forests act as wave dampeners. In order to achieve a more accurate measurement, the individual stalks in the forest need to be accounted for. Previous studies looking into the interaction between kelp and drag neglected to consider the effects of surface waves. Surface waves are of particular interest because coastline kelp forests are in shallow water. Therefore, much of the wave turbulence and propagation is generated by these surface waves. Another application for this project could be for beach piers. Piers are often subject to high waves, wind, and other detrimental forces. By fixing this instrument on one of the poles, one could better assess the conditions in which beach piers are most at risk. From the collected data, we could see the force applied to the structure, as well as the minute motion of the pier when it is hit by a wave. A wide range of applications exist for this project because it has a highly configurable design. It can measure up to eight pressure sensors which can be placed in any desired arrangement. The internal components can be adjusted and manipulated to fit in a variety of spaces. Utilizing a configurable sensor instrument and developing a methodology for fabricating and testing said device are valuable when attempting to collect data from diverse testing conditions.
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