The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) awarded a $999,581 grant award entitled, “Development of next-generation autonomous sensing platforms for water quality monitoring and HAB detection” to FIU. The award will be led by Dr. Kevin Boswell of the Department of Biological Sciences, includes KFSCIS’s Dr. Gregory Reis and Dr. Leonardo Bobadilla, Dr. Camilo Roa of Biology, and Dr. Ryan Smith of the Institute of Environment (IoE) as Co-PIs along with other Key Personnel from Biology, Chemistry, and IoE.
The team will “construct and deploy a networked array of multiple sensing platforms to improve water quality monitoring and HAB detection in Biscayne Bay. Devices and materials will be procured to install eight permanent data sondes in Biscayne Bay along with four autonomous surface vehicles (ASV). Tank-based experiments will be conducted to enable safe and consistent control of the ASV’s and to network them to transmit data in real time. Each vehicle will have an onboard AI system to dynamically sample and respond to in-situ changes indicative of HAB events. Data from the permanently mounted data sondes, the ASV’s, and remotely sensed satellite data will be integrated to enhance water quality assessment and enable near real-time data access through a public-facing web portal.” Drs. Reis and Bobadilla will lead the efforts to add intelligent autonomy to the ASVs.