PORFIDO: Using Neutrino Telescopes and RFID to Gather Oceanographic Data
Neutrino telescopes are large underwater detectors, moored to the bottom of the sea, and connected to the shore by an electro-optical cable, which carries power to the telescope and data to the shore. The sensitive elements, called Optical Modules are glass spheres containing a photomultiplier tube and related electronics. We have designed and built an underwater measurement system, PORFIDO (Physical Oceanography by RFID Outreach), to gather oceanographic data from a neutrino telescope with a minimum of disturbance to the main installation. PORFIDO is composed of a sensor glued to the outside of an Optical Module, in contact with seawater, and of a reader placed inside the sphere, facing the sensor. Data are collected by the sensor and transmitted to the reader through the glass by RFID. The sensor, built using a WISP, gathers power from the radio frequency, thus eliminating the need for batteries or connectors through the glass. Data are sent to shore in real time for periods of years. We plan to deploy several PORFIDO probes with the NEMO Phase II tower in 2012 .
We would like to thank Joshua R. Smith and the WISP team for the continuing support. We are grateful to the LNS and INFN-Roma1 components of the NEMO group who lent us a lot of essential support. Finally, we would like to thank the Catania University NEMO group for the use of their very efficient pressure chamber.
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