Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2012

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Kruger, Anton

First Committee Member

Just, Craig

Second Committee Member

Canahuate, Guadalupe M


Rapid global industrialization and increase in human population over the last century has exponentially increased the demand of fossil fuels for energy, (generation of electricity, fuel for transportation, etc), and an ever expanding list of fossil fuel derived chemicals, (synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, polymers, etc), are being used in all aspects of daily life. All of this has inevitably introduced large amounts of nitrogen to earth's Nitrogen Cycle. Thus, one of the challenges put forth by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has been the management of the Nitrogen Cycle. (NAE, 2008). It's anticipated that the effects of human-induced changes to the global Nitrogen Cycle will be profound, and needs to be better studied and understood. Previous investigations on mussels were conducted in artificial conditions, mostly in a small scale where the mussels were restricted and tethered. These studies were conducted to mature and test technologies for the possibility of developing systems to monitor mussel un-tethered/wirelessly. The wireless communication between mussels introduces electronics that needs to be mounted external to the shell of these animals. The big picture goal of the entire study is to enable scientist to monitor mussels un-tethered in their natural environment. To achieve this goal we must first verify the following assumption: >"The attachment of sensors and a small "backpack" containing wireless communicators and sensing electronics will have little or no impact on mussel mobility and survival." In this paper we explore multiple methods and devise a well functioning system that can autonomously identify, track and log the movement of mussels in a mesohabitat to be able to verify our assumption above. References: NAE. (2008). Grand Challenges for Engineering: Managing the Nitrogen Cycle. Retrieved from National Academy of Engineering:


iv, 89 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 86-89).


Copyright 2012 Mehmed Bilal Diken