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MERMAID opens prospect of cleaner seas with pollution early warning system
Date:7/9/2010

ch, a government-funded centre based in Germany. "MERMAID was a great success from every point of view," says Dr Friedhelm Schroeder, who had a central role in coordinating the project and is now project manager of the advanced programme that MERMAID spawned: COSYNA Coastal Observing System for Northern and Arctic Seas.

The project's commercial partners went on to market MERMAID modules around the world, with South American and South East Asian countries being some of the first to adopt this new technology outside Europe. Meanwhile, GKSS has continued to develop the system as the core of COSYNA, pushing ever further the technological limits of sensors and finding cheaper and innovative ways to gather data on the composition and quality of water.

One new module that is lowering operating costs is the FerryBox, an automated measuring and sampling station carried on board a ferry or other ship plying a regular route. The box, can observe a far wider area than is possible with fixed stations on buoys. Moreover, the instruments, which receive water through the vessel's pumping system, are protected against heavy fouling (biological growth) and harsh exterior conditions. Sample collection and maintenance are carried out when the ship is in harbour. Another new development is a sensor that uses a genetic probe to detect toxic algae.

COSYNA is now two-thirds completed, and already operates with several fixed stations, some FerryBoxes, radar detection of water movement, and satellite remote sensing. However, the project still has some way to go before there is a sufficient supply of high quality data for accurate "modelling" providing computerized views of conditions, both existing and possible future scenarios.

COSYNA is still identifying additional areas to monitor: two stations are located at either end of a major current that flows the length of the North Sea, yet there is a lack of data from along its path.

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Contact: Piotr Pogorzelski
piotr.pogorzelski@eurekanetwork.org
322-777-0979
EUREKA
Source:Eurekalert  

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