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Measuring drag on kelp
IAP and Spring
2: Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Heidi Nepf
Seaweed [kelp] aquaculture is a sustainable and environmentally responsible form of food production, requiring no fresh water, fertilizers, or arable land. In addition, kelp farms remove nutrients from the water, improving coastal water quality. The long term goal of this project is to examine the size and layout of kelp farms that can provide the maximum harvest and coastal ecosystem benefit. In particular, the project will explore how to utilize more lines per ocean footprint. There are three main constraints to moving lines closer together; excessive drag on the lines can damage the farm and nutrient and/or light limitation may diminish growth in parts of the farm. This UROP project will take the first step toward enabling better prediction of how farm size and line density influence farm success. The project involves measuring the drag on real kelp fronds in an experiment channel with waves and current conditions, and then fabricating a suitable model frond for use in extended testing. Good hands-on skills and a basic subject in fluid mechanics are preferred, but not required. Contact: Dr. Yuming Liu: email@example.com
Good hands-on skills and a basic subject in fluid mechanics are preferred, but not required.