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NOAA Innovators' Series Presentation: Ocean Dashboard: Examples of Affordable Ocean Monitoring Using Small, Satellite Reporting Smart Sensors - canceled due to unforeseen circumstances

August 18, 2020 12:00 PM to August 18, 2020 1:00 PM (ET)
Contact Name
Tiffany House
Contact Phone
(301) 628-1061
Contact Email
Webinar Website


Join us online for another NOAA Innovators' Series presentation highlighting projects funded by NOAA's Technology Partnerships Office through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program.

Speaker: Marco Flagg, CEO, Desert Star Systems LLC

Ocean Dashboard is Desert Star’s vision for comprehensive near real-time ocean monitoring using small (generally less than 500g), long-endurance autonomous satellite reporting sensors that can be deployed in large enough numbers to significantly improve sampling density.  This presentation provides examples including an Atlantic traversing tag originally monitoring a tiger shark that subsequently ‘discovered’ methane seeps; new tags that can detect the time and location of fish spawning; and opportunities for autonomous acoustic monitoring including potentially tracking the ocean migration of endangered cetaceans beyond the reach of static monitors.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Small, autonomous satellite reporting smart sensors offer extensive capabilities for physical and biological ocean observations.
  2. Their small size, ease of deployment, and endurance support high sampling densities that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive.
  3. The growing use of such sensors can give us a near real-time window into fish and cetacean migration, human activities, and physical processes alike, combining to form an ocean dashboard that improves our understanding of the evolving state, dynamics, and interactions in the oceans.

About the Speaker: Marco Flagg founded Desert Star Systems LLC in 1992. Recognizing the vicious cycle of high cost leading to limited availability of ocean sensors, he defined a strategy of modular design that produces efficiencies of scale across an ever-growing product portfolio that has been supported by the NOAA SBIR program at multiple steps. Marco combines out-of-the-box engineering thought with a passion for ocean exploration that has led him to journeys of the deep ocean, under the Antarctic ice, in the jaws of a great white shark and many more, at each step gaining new understanding of the particular environment and the needs of researchers and translating that knowledge into new products and concepts.

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