- R&D 100 Awards
To help solve the impacts to fish caused by dams, researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developed the Sensor Fish, a tubular device filled with sensors that analyze physical stresses fish experience when passing through dams. Sensor Fish provides fisheries, dam owners and researchers with accurate measurements of the physical conditions that fish, such as juvenile salmon, endure as they pass through dams or other complex flow fields. Using Sensor Fish, researchers are able to collect roughly 2,000 measurements per second, per sensor, including pressure, 3D acceleration, 3D rotational velocity, 3D orientation and temperature. Use of Sensor Fish has led to improved turbine redesign at large dams, such as at Ice Harbor Dam in Washington State, to reduce impacts on the fish population. Sensor Fish is cost effective—fish passage studies using live fish cost roughly three times more than using Sensor Fish.