Environmental Monitors on Lobster Traps (EMOLT):
eMOLT V: Real-time Temperature
Since the eMOLT began in 2001, many of the participants have asked, "How can we get a real-time temperature?" Given the recent advances towards a nation-wide ocean observing system, the idea is ripe. New England lobstermen now have an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the integrated system on the Northeast Continental Shelf by securing an unprecedented array of relatively inexpensive sensors on the seafloor. While the data will not be transmitted hourly (as many of the GOMOOS moorings are), it will be transmitted on a near-weekly basis (as often as lobstermen haul).
The biggest expense in conducting physical oceanographic research has traditionally been in ship time and the care of fixed moorings. These costs are essentially eliminated with the eMOLT system.There are a number of initiatives currently underway to coordinate oceanographic observations including the Gulf of Maine Ocean Data Partnership. Our objective is to become an active participant in these initiatives by sharing our data in real-time mode. While we would start by simply posting bottom temperature, we would then propose in subsequent years to a) secure other sensors such as salinity, oxygen, pH, etc. and b) extend the instrumentation throughout the water column. If we can prove ourselves as potential contributors to the regional observing system, we hope to obtain sustained funding in the future. While we have yet to develop a robust system, many of the real-time components are in place so that to have a complete system become a reality in the next year or two is certainly possible.