Oceanographic Data Portal (ODATA)
Marine Science & Aquaculture Laboratory
The Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) Oceanographic Data Portal (ODATA) provides unique marine academic data to the public, with the intent to inspire and educate. The academy has several marine research projects, hydrokinetic energy (e.g. tidal flow) systems and aquaculture programs, generating precise oceanographic data. Additionally, a live camera broadcasts real time seabed activity from 20 feet under water in high definition video. This visual portal is a real time view of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at work.
Aquaculture & Marine Sciences Laboratory
The Aquaculture & Marine Sciences Laboratory at MMA is a combination of field lab, aquaculture farm, research experiments and long-term environmental monitoring. Dozens of federal, state, municipal and academic research projects are simultaneously proceeding out of this science center. Faculty and students support all of these initiatives.
A SIMRAD® NSS Evo-3 navigation computer is interfaced with a hydroacoustic transducer on the camera frame (recording horizontally to identify fish). The location in Latitude and Longitude, distance to nearest structure, time, temperature and system voltage are displayed similar to the navigation display while a vessel is underway.
Underwater Video Camera
A View Into the Blue Octopus® High Definition PTZ camera is maintained at 22 feet below water in the MMA Marine Lab seawater intake bay. The camera is on a custom science array sensor rack that is moved weekly for maintenance (and sometimes moved by current and storms). The view is predominantly benthic, with fish (sea perch, stripers, Tautog and other guests), crabs and lobsters active April through January. Tides float seaweeds and marine snow in the water column driven by the 4 to 5 knot currents. Occasionally as daylight fades, you can see the Water Quality YSI Exo-3 SONDE fluorescent sensor, measuring chlorophyll, pH, temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and other parameters. A unique nitrate sensor on the submerged array is also recording data every 15 minutes, and all are displaying live readings in real time. The data received can be viewed on the MMA Ocean Data Portal, hosted on our website. If you see a white wiper blade go by, that is what keeps the dome clear and clean.
Water Quality SONDE
A display of seawater conditions one meter off the ocean bottom (next to the camera) is currently reporting to the AMS lab. This YSI Exo-2® water quality monitoring system is a partnership feature of the Buzzards Bay Coalition, MMA and others; funded through the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program with an EPA Southern New England Estuary Program grant. The data updates three times a second and is logged once every 15 minutes for scientific research purposed (modeling Buzzards Bay water quality conditions). Temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, depth (varies with tide), chlorophyll and other parameters are displayed in real time.
Marine Lab VideoRay ROV
Below is a short video filmed Octoboer 10, 2021 for a MSSEP Coastal Zone Management class underwater ROV training using the MMA Marine Lab VideoRay.
It is important to know the normal tidal heights to aid in predicting flood levels with stormwater run-up. MMA has installed a tidal height monitor technology developed by Hohonu of Hawaii. The actual tidal levels are influenced by wind and the physical configuration of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy waterfront pier location. This solar powered cutting edge technology plots the recorded tidal height (close spaced blue dots) against the predicted tidal height (blue dashes). The prediction is from the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge NOAA tidal station, 1000 meters northeast of the MMA pier. Both the distance and physical basin configuration produces differing graphs results in certain tidal events.