Public Lab Research note

This is an attempt to replicate an activity.

Successful Thermal Fishing Bob Maps!

by sara | April 23, 2014 03:58 23 Apr 03:58 | #10346 | #10346

What I want to do

I wanted to work with my undergrad courses at Northeastern this semester to further develop the Thermal Fishing Bob project and generate some proof of concept images similar to those mocked up by Eymund and Liz Here. I'm excited to report some really promising first results! These images show three separate student groups efforts to thermally image an ornamental pond on campus. A small step but a significant proof of concept for creating thermal maps of water temperature even with light pollution.

My attempt and results

Two of my undergrad classes made thermal fishing bobs and then took them out for test runs. Here are some pictures of their results. The colored outline of the pond is made by pulling the thermal fishing bob on a piece of string around the perimeter of the pond. We used the method described in this research note. You can see that the different groups had the Thermal Bobs set to different temperature ranges.




I'll be adding a longer note about the design of the workshop soon but as I need to round up permissions to use images of students and their reflections on the project it will take a bit of time. But I couldn't wait to share these impactful first images!

Questions and next steps

The next step of field testing for this tool is a workshop to be held at RPI this weekend in which we'll experiment with collectively mapping a controlled pool of water. I've attached a flyer about the event it's free and open to the public for anyone in the Troy area!


Also attached is an updated how to guide for making the Thermal Fishing Bob designed for total electronics novices like myself:


Why I'm interested

The thermal fishing is a tool we've been collaboratively developing that we intend to use to map thermal industrial plumes, or Combined Sewage Overflows. Here is another note by Eymund on CSO in the Gowanus Canal:


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