If you had asked Dr. Yi Chao ten years ago if a battery would change his career, he would have chuckled and moved on. At the time, Chao was a NASA scientist working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) using satellites to study the health of the world’s oceans. As time passed, however, Chao spent more and more time worrying about battery life. His team was placing battery-powered sensors in the ocean to cross check the data received by the satellites. His problem was that good old-fashioned lithium batteries – the stuff that powers smoke alarms, flashlights and Xboxes – ran out of juice too quickly, resulting in thousands of sensors sinking to their final resting place at the bottom reaches of the ocean. The irony of studying ocean health and science, while littering the ocean in the process, was just too much for Chao. So he took matters into his own hands.
© Secure Oceans 2016