Friday October 27, 2023


Thousands of sensors speckle the seas, harvesting a variety of data on the marine environment: its movement, light, temperature, sound, mass, and biogeochemistry. In the hustle to collect more information about the ocean, governments, scientists, and researchers are deploying low-power, cost-effective sensors, most of which are never retrieved.

Sensors transform from tools to trash when they settle on the seabed, wash ashore, or join a floating garbage patch. Biodegradability may offer a means to reconcile the expansion of ocean sensing with reducing sensors’ environmental footprints.

Now, scientists at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory are crafting a prototype sensor composed of an innovative elastomer—a rubbery and biobenign material that is not harmful to the environment as it degrades. Plastic versions of the Velella sensor (inspired by the shape of the jelly-like creature Velella velella) have already been deployed to collect data on salinity and temperature in the Atlantic waters around the Azores.

Read more >

Link copied successfully