Project involving a M-ITI researcher receives funding by the USA National Academy of Sciences



 

A project involving M-ITI researcher Nuno Nunes received funding by the USA National Academy of Sciences, through the Keck Futures Deep Blue Sea initiative. This project aims to make accessible, through the Internet, real time information about deep reefs, where luminosity is weak (mesophotic area). It is led by professor Diego Figueroa from the University of Texas, and encompasses an international team, that includes the conceptual artist Mark Dion, and Prof. Nuno Nunes, from M-ITI / Técnico U. Lisboa. This project uses sensors, and interactive cameras in depth, that allow the access to images and environmental parameters of these understudied reefs, situated at 50 meters deep. The $100,000 funding will be used to test the necessary technologies for the implementation of the first prototype, in the Gulf of Mexico, at 100 meters deep. This prototype will be comprised by a communication floater (with solar panel and satellite), a system with sensors, and a high definition camera, situated at 100 meters deep, that can be remotely controlled with the Internet. The target audience of this installation will be the educative communities, such as museums, schools and community centers. The final goal will be sharing knowledge about these specific and understudied ecosystems through modern interactive technologies.

The Keck Futures initiative is promoted by the USA Science Academy, and intends to gather scientists from several disciplines, such as designers and artists, to explore relevant problems. This new project results from the Discovering the Deep Blue Sea conference, held in November 2016, in which Prof. Nuno Nunes participated as a guest. More than 100 researchers and artists gathered for the conference, held in Irvine, California, to discuss new forms to explore and improve the knowledge about the deep Ocean. After just a few months, the first projects were funded, in a total of $1,55 Million.

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