Mapping turbulence in the canals of Venice (MQP)
The goal of this project was to create a device to automatically measure and record turbulence discharged from motorboats in Venetian canals, and create a map of those discharges over time. The system was based on processing signals from: the wterminal on a diesel engines alternator or an inductive pickup placed on a gasoline engines spark plug. These signals are processed, under software control, to calculate actual engine RPM. Engine RPM readings are time and position tagged with GPS data from a small, low power, OEM GPS unit and stored to a DOS compatible file on a Compact Flash card interfaced to the internal embedded processor system. The prototype system can be powered from the boat’s battery for up to a week of data collection. Once data is collected, the Compact Flash card is downloaded into a desktop system after which Geographical Information System (GIS) software is used to remap the GPS engine RPM data to a physical location on a user viewable city map. The prototype is intended to be placed in motorboats that roam about the Venetian lagoon in order to map the location and magnitude of underwater turbulence. This system can aid the city of Venice, Italy in identifying areas that suffer from constant underwater turbulence and by correctly correlating canal wall damage to underwater turbulence, canal repair crews can be released more efficiently.