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SC5232 - Marine Sensor Technologies and Applications

Credit points: 3
Year: 2021
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: College of Science and Engineering

This subject will introduce students to a wide range of advanced marine sensor technologies and their hands-on operation. Technologies will include physical, chemical, biological and geological sensors used in the marine systems. The subject will cover the theory and practice of operation, processing of data, and operation of a diversity of sensors and technologies in the field. Fieldwork will most likely be carried out in Hinchinbrook Channel, one of the most beautiful locations in Northern Australia. This area has many interesting biological, physical and geological features such as extensive mangrove swamps, fast tidal currents and extensive seabed mega-ripple formations. The diversity of subjects for study and the sheltered waters of Hinchinbrook Channel make this an ideal location for marine technology training. Technology will include, but not be limited to: tide gauges, temperature and salinity gauges, CTD profilers, PAR light sensors, underwater spectroscopy, current meters, fish acoustic tracking, satellite tracked Lagrangian drifters, side-scan sonar and other acoustic technologies, pH and carbon dioxide measurements, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll and fluorescence, water turbidity, sediment particle size analysis, ocean ambient noise, underwater video systems. In addition, students will advance their knowledge of data logging, programming micro-controllers, basic electronic circuits, time series analysis techniques and general data analysis and visualisation techniques.

There are additional charges for this subject; please contact the School for details.

Learning Outcomes

  • program a wide range of microcontrollers and instruments to take measurements;
  • setup, calibrate and deploy a wide range of scientific equipment to take useful measurements for marine applications;
  • proficiently describe the physical or chemical principles used in common measurement techniques;
  • critically reflect on and explain the principles of uncertainty, sensitivity, resolution and accuracy of measurements;
  • demonstrate the ability to solve simple and complex problems that typically occur in marine field work data collection and analyses;
  • analyse and interpret data taken from a wide range of scientific equipment used in marine application.

Subject Assessment

  • Written > Examination (centrally administered) - (50%) -
Undergraduate degree in science. Familiarity with concept of data acquisition from physical and chemical sensors (as taught in PH2222 OR SC3010). Students without that background will need to complete extra reading materials in preparation.


Townsville, Intensive, Study Period 6
Census Date 17-Jun-2021
Face to face teaching (Dates TBC)
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 3 credit point subject is approximately 130 hours.

  • 2 weeks fieldwork

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.