Moball-Buoy Network: A Near-Real-Time Ground-Truth Distributed Monitoring System to Map Ice, Weather, Chemical Species, and Radiations, in the Arctic

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Faranak Davoodi1,2, Cyrus Shahabi1, Joel Burdick3, Mina Rais-Zadeh4 and Dimitris Menemenlis2, (1)University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, United States, (2)NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States, (3)California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States, (4)University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI, United States
Recent observations of the Arctic have shown that sea ice has diminished drastically, consequently impacting the environment in the Arctic and beyond. Certain factors such as atmospheric anomalies, wind forces, temperature increase, and change in the distribution of cold and warm waters contribute to the sea ice reduction. However current measurement capabilities lack the accuracy, temporal sampling, and spatial coverage required to effectively quantify each contributing factor and to identify other missing factors. Addressing the need for new measurement capabilities for the new Arctic regime, we propose a game-changing in-situ Arctic-wide Distributed Mobile Monitoring system called Moball-buoy Network. Moball-buoy Network consists of a number of wind-propelled self-powered inflatable spheres referred to as Moball-buoys. The Moball-buoys are self-powered. They use their novel mechanical control and energy harvesting system to use the abundance of wind in the Arctic for their controlled mobility and energy harvesting. They are equipped with an array of low-power low-mass sensors and micro devices able to measure a wide range of environmental factors such as the ice conditions, chemical species wind vector patterns, cloud coverage, air temperature and pressure, electromagnetic fields, surface and subsurface water conditions, short- and long-wave radiations, bathymetry, and anthropogenic factors such as pollutions. The stop-and-go motion capability, using their novel mechanics, and the heads up cooperation control strategy at the core of the proposed distributed system enable the sensor network to be reconfigured dynamically according to the priority of the parameters to be monitored. The large number of Moball-buoys with their ground-based, sea-based, satellite and peer-to-peer communication capabilities would constitute a wireless mesh network that provides an interface for a global control system. This control system will ensure arctic-wide coverage, will optimize Moball-buoys monitoring efforts according to their available resources and the priority of local areas of high scientific value within the Arctic region. Moball-buoy Network is expected to be the first robust and persistent Arctic-wide environment monitoring system capable of providing reliable readings in near real time