Course Blog

Bioluminescence Life Jacket For Ocean Rescue

Our group have discussion 4 hours about our topic this week, finally, we all decided to design a new bioluminescence life jacket as new material which would be applied in 5-10 years.


【Discussion Process】

In the initial stage, we focused on UnHackable communication, therefore we want to use the characteristics of bioluminescence and to re-code the lighting frequency and colour to transmit information which can name Li-Fi. Although we can change the colour and frequency of bioluminescence, we still face an obstacle that it is hard to control them to follow our code rule in order to code with information. Another solution is combining our own gene with a specific item to make an UnHackable key.

We do really want to find out a way to help people protecting their information, however, we found some topics that deserved our attention during the discussion and exploration in design opportunities. Such as the ocean rescue.


【Bioluminescence Life Jacket】

Every year, there are many ships experiencing with natural disasters or other accidents on the ocean, and it can bring huge loss of life and property. Actually, we have many designs that we are familiar with to aid ocean rescue. For example, the life jacket. Life jackets for outfitting large commercial transport ventures in potentially dangerous waters, such as coastal cruises, offshore passages, and overwater air flights, consisting of either a single air chamber or a pair of (twin or double) sealed air chambers constructed of coated nylon (sometimes with a protective outer encasing of heavier, tougher material such as vinyl), joined together. The lifejacket can only meet the basic rescue requirements like floating on the sea and can send SOS for help and waiting for rescue.


However, during the night rescue on the ocean, strong currents and wind speeds and low temperature for maritime rescue becomes very difficult, and the SOS flashlight is difficult to quickly lock the trapped in the sea as visibility is almost zero, and the trapped persons need to measure the use of the resource to avoid lost opportunities for help.

So we hope that to use the characteristics of luminous bacteria can help people to be rescued faster. First, the bacteria grow on the sea, so the ocean can provide enough nutrients for it grow. And because of this, the rescue signal can last for a longer time, so the trapped people are more likely to be rescued. Second, we hope to use the dormancy period of luminescent bacteria to help design more life cycle with environmental protection and longer life cycle, for example, no need to change the flashlight battery of life jacket. Third, we can deliver the signal to the rescue centre after our group efforts. Similar to the black box, we can record more confidence in the victims.

Also, in this project, we have some difficulties to break through: it will be difficult for us to make a biofilm as a container to hold bacteria. Another difficulty is to keep bacteria dormant. We also need to pay attention to control lighting frequency of bacteria to send SOS signals.

Group Member:Elif Gediz Kocaoglan, Robin Bishop, Wanying Zhang, Yi He