In order to get a deeper understanding of the growth patterns and local impact of coral reefs, researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) are building 3D virtual reality environments of coral reefs to help preserve the visual integrity of the underwater environment. To build these interactive environments, depth information is essential to accurately depict the structure and levels of the reef, but gathering this data is cumbersome and expensive.
This summer, Alex Xu, Brian Sebastian, Charmaine Beluso, and Eamon Patamasing have been testing their Depth-Sensor Enclosed Application (D-SEA) prototypes at the Canyonview Pool to provide a solution for this. This device automatically collects and averages pressure data and displays the calculated depth readings on an E-Ink display as shown. D-SEA accounts for differing wave heights on the surface and logs the raw data onto an SD card.