Remote Release Device for Marine Mammal Electronic Tags

Period of Performance: 06/29/2009 - 04/30/2010

$70K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Wildlife Computers, Inc.
8345 154th Ave NE
Redmond, WA 98052
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Alaska Sealife Center
301 Railway Ave
Seward, AK 99664
Institution POC

Abstract

Design and evaluate components for a new device for remotely releasing electronic tags that have been attached to marine animals with a focus on a novel approach for the release mechanism. Current methods for releasing tags include corrodible metal pins and mechanical devices for cutting plastic or steel wires. These methods are less reliable because the attachment wires and pins may prematurely corrode or break from mechanical stress or the cutting mechanism may jam. An ideal release mechanism would release only in response to a received radio signal from the scientist. ElectRelease epoxy, developed for military applications under an SBIR grant by EIC Laboratories, is potentially a more reliable solution for the release mechanism because it quickly degrades when a small electrical voltage is applied and has no moving parts. This proposal combines the expertise of Wildlife Computers as a leading innovator in the design, manufacture and sale of tags for marine animals for 24 years, techniques developed by Dr. Russ Andrews who has 20 years of experience in attaching to and recovering tags from marine animals, and the unique properties of ElectRelease developed by EIC Laboratories.