Friday, February 05, 2010

One Fish, Two Fish. Red Fish, Blue Fish

A Chinook Salmon

My new work continues, and like any set of business processes that I have to manage from an IT perspective, as I learn more about it, I discover more complexity.

Take tracking fish movement. We put passive integrated transponders into fish, and we put underwater antenna arrays in rivers to track when a fish passes over the antenna. A satellite sends me the data about the fish who pass over the antenna array. It's all good. I get the data and I need to create technology to do stuff with it, mostly render it into information that scientists can draw conclusions from, and move it to different places, automatically.

Problem is, algae grow on the antenna arrays, and then macroinvertabrates start to hang around, feeding on the algae, and then sometimes a fish will hover over the antenna array eating the macroinvertabrates. The fish will hover over the array long enough to generate 50,000 or so rows of tracking data which get sent to me, 49,999 of which I don't need. At least I think that's why they send me all those data. The sampling rate for the antenna arrays is pretty high.

Got to count the fish (and evaluate habitat too, and that's a different post). It's problematic with this sort of thing going on. I have serious work to do before everything is just exactly perfect.

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