Stanford University researchers are deploying a fleet of static buoys and Wave Glider robots to turn the waters off the coast of San Francisco into a huge WiFi network to track tagged fish and animals.
The network acts like a huge Wi-Fi system and relies on cheap, long-lasting acoustical tags. When a tagged fish passed within 1,000 feet (304.8 m) of a data receiver, the acoustic signal is recorded and uploaded along with a timestamp and GPS location to a shore station. The buoys that make up the static part of the network are placed where white sharks are most likely to be. However, it’s an axiom of science that if you already know where something is, then there’s no point in looking for it, so the network also uses Wave Glider robots to rove about the area to cover any holes.