Advanced imaging and sensing technology for improved aquaculture fish cage management

· 09/2020 - 01/2023

Project number: 2020-R/RC-160

PI: Brian Anthony, MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering

Objectives: Our primary goal is to develop tomographic methods based on travel time tomography and full waveform inversion for water property mapping (i.e. temperature and salinity). As a secondary objective, we will attempt to track and detect changes, in fish schooling behavior as an indicator of health. To achieve these goals our project will consist of three objectives: (1) design and deployment of a sensor network, (2) development of physical-parameter inversion algorithms and, (3) estimation of fish properties and fish tracking.

Methodology: We will develop and enhance sensing systems to continuously measure and track water quality and flow within fish pens and analyze optical and acoustic markers for performing behavior-based fish tracking using acoustic tomography. Multiple sensors will be incorporated and combined with the development of targeted inversion algorithms from classical mathematical and physical inverse problem solutions to deep learning and AI based approaches. Information will be collected from acoustic sensors (SONAR) and optical sensors (cameras) as well as supportive sensors such as temperature, salinity, and inertial sensors. Applying the proposed technologies at the local commercial scale has not been done.

Rationale: This project addresses MIT Sea Grant Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture and Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development focus areas. The workshops will engage stakeholders and enable industry-driven feedback during the development process. The work proposed here will also address the 10-year NOAA Sea Grant Aquaculture Vision’s Areas to Invest Resources-Farm Technology, and the NOAA Fisheries Marine Aquaculture Plan FY2016-2020, Goal 3: Technology Development and Transfer. The proposed technology development, industry engagement, outreach, and transfer is directly in line with the MIT Sea Grant College Program, the National Sea Grant Program, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration aquaculture priorities and goals.