Return-path: <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG> Received: from FLO.ORG by VMSVAX.SIMMONS.EDU (PMDF V5.0-4 #8767) id <01HWSHI8RUB4954QQW@VMSVAX.SIMMONS.EDU>; Mon, 23 Oct 1995 19:27:54 -0400 (EDT) Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 22:23:07 -0400 (EDT) From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG> Subject: Info: Blue Whale research To: whalenet@VMSVAX.SIMMONS.EDU, pcolombo@VMSVAX.SIMMONS.EDU Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Message-id: <951022222307.1703@FLO.ORG> Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT From: SMTP%"MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET" 22-OCT-1995 19:01:13.56 To: WHE_WILLIAM CC: Subj: BLUE WHALE RESEARCH Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 09:47:20 -0700 Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET> Sender: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET> Comments: Warning -- original Sender: tag was rbaird@SOL.UVIC.CA From: Alan Macnow <email@example.com> Subject: BLUE WHALE RESEARCH X-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET> FROM: Alan Macnow Consultant, Japan Whaling Association The publication AVIATION WEEK & SPACE TECHNOLOGY this week reported that Japanese researchers will track the migratory patterns and assoc- iated ecological information from blue whales via a space satellite. The project, scheduled to begin with the launch of a polar orbiting space satellite in 1997, is part of a program undertaken by the International Whaling Commission designed to collect data which will assist in the recovery of the depleted Antarctic blue whale population. The $2-million ecological project is under development by NEC Corp. and Japan's Chiba Institute of Technology. It was was presented at the recent International Astronautical Federation (IAF) congress in Oslo. Blue whales can reach 100 ft. in length and weigh 130 metric tons. They are the largest animals on Earth. But almost nothing is known about their migratory patterns, current population numbers, and day to day habits. The satellite information collection system will use sensors attached to 50-100 blue whales to gather needed data. Data from the sensor system will be transmitted to a 50-kg. (110-lb.) Whale Ecology Observation Satellite (WEOS) that will be launched into polar orbit as a piggyback payload on a Japanese H-2 or Chinese Long March missile. The system is being designed to transmit from a whale's back for 2-3 years, long enough to obtain data across a full migratory cycle, ac- cording to Dr. Tomonao Hayashi, a researcher at the Chiba Institute and professor emeritus at ISAS, Japan's space science agency. He pre- sented the plan along with another project official, Takeshi Orii, who heads NEC's Space Systems Development Div. According to the magazine reporting on the technology, one unusual aspect of the project is the way the satellite system on the whales will generate electrical power for 2-3 years. A kinetic power generation system developed by the Seiko Epsom watch company will be used in the unit. The swimming motion of the whale will continually cycle a mechanical system that will charge a battery to power the 5-w. satellite receiver/transmitter system. The system is similar to that used on Seiko's self-winding wristwatches. As the whale swims, its attached system will periodically record the physiological parameters of the animal and other information such as the water temperature. When the whale comes to the surface to breathe, a pressure sensor will tell the system that it is on the surface and thus able to communicate with U.S. Air Force GPS satellites and its Japanese relay satellite. The system will automatically calculate the whale's position by acquiring data from two or three GPS spacecraft and then transmit the location and other data to the Japanese Whale Ecology spacecraft when it flies overhead. On each orbit the satellite will obtain data from numerous whales swimming under its ground track. The spacecraft will be commanded dai- ly to dump its recorded data when it flies over a Japanese ground sta- tion.