Design of magnetic coupling-based anti-biofouling mechanism for underwater optical sensors

by   Jane Pauline Ramirez, et al.

Water monitoring is crucial for environmental monitoring, transportation, energy and telecommunication. One of the main problems in aquatic environmental monitoring is biofouling. The simplest method among the current antifouling strategies is the use of wiper technologies like brushes and wipers which apply mechanical pressure. In designing built-in strategies however, manufacturers usually build the sensor around the biofouling system. The current state-of-the-art is a fully integrated central wiper in the sensor that enables cleaning of all probes mounted on the sonde. Improvements in antifouling strategies lag rapid advancements in sensor technologies such as in miniaturization, specialization, and costs. Hence, improving built-in designs by decreasing size and complexity will decrease maintenance and overall costs. This design is targeted for the EU project Robocoenosis since bio-hybrid systems in this project incorporate living organisms. This technology targets selective proliferation of the organisms which only prevents biofilms on components where they are unwanted. Beyond this, the use of autonomous activation based on image processing may likely be advantageous for minimizing the need for human inspection and maintenance. In addition to Robocoenosis, we also aim at incorporating this design in another project entitled Heterogeneous Swarm of Underwater Autonomous Vehicles where a swarm of heterogeneous underwater robotic fish is being developed.


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