Montana Tech Awarded Grant to Design a Boat to Sample Berkley Pit Water


July 28, 2015

Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology research boat at Berkeley PitMontana Tech has received a grant in the amount of $50,000 from Montana Resources to design and build a boat that will automatically sample water from the Berkeley Pit. Until recently, individuals on a boat have manually sampled the water in the Berkeley Pit but dangers have halted these operations.

The boat will be either remotely controlled or autonomous and will sample water and PH to a depth of 700’. The grant money will fund an electrical engineering graduate student, Abdullah Alangari, and will pay for the materials needed to build the control systems for the boat.

The project has just begun with parts selection and planning happening now. The project principal investigator (PI) is Ted Duaime, hydrogeologist with the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, and co-PI is Bryce Hill, assistant professor in the Electrical Engineering Department.

The team hopes to begin sampling by the beginning of winter. “This is the kind of research I like to do,” noted Hill. "This research has its roots in Montana and deals with Montana problems and we will solve them through the use of modern technology using robotics and modern communications.”