What is the blue and yellow object in the bay?

What is PEARL?
PEARL is a floating data buoy currently deployed at Pleasant Bay, MA at the Pleasant Bay Community Boating.

What is PEARL doing in Pleasant Bay?
PEARL is constantly collecting a variety of environmental quantities about the ocean and atmosphere, such as water and air temperature, humidity, and ambient light intensity.

What is the white hat on PEARL?
The white “hat” is what allows PEARL to connect to satellites in space to upload the data she collects to the internet. It is called a satellite terminal and is connected to the Iridium satellite network.

You said the “A” in PEARL stands for “Autonomous Underwater Vehicles.” Does that mean there are underwater robots moving around Pleasant Bay?
Not yet! This prototype of PEARL is too small to host an AUV. In the future, we will be building a much larger version of PEARL that is deployed in the ocean along with underwater vehicles around her collecting valuable data. PEARL will then be able to recharge these vehicles using solar energy she collects, and transmit their data back to shore!

There’s a seagull on PEARL. Should I call and make sure it’s okay?
PEARL is a pretty robust platform with plenty of flotation so it is fine if a few seagulls decide to spend some time on her! One of our teammates routinely climbs on top of PEARL to perform weekly maintenance activities, for instance.

Is she going to hurt the seagulls?
Not at all! When we designed PEARL, we made sure she would not harm the environment or animals in the ocean. She uses sustainable solar energy with marine-grade solar panels and all her parts are just like those you would use on a canoes or kayaks.

I’m worried about PEARL. What should I do?
If you are worried about her, please send us an email at pearl@mit.edu.