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Spartan Autonomous Vehicle

Raised toward our $2,000 Goal
7 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on January 08, at 08:00 AM PST
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Spartan Autonomous Vehicle

In the last century, California’s Santa Clara Valley has experienced an enormous growth in population from 100,000 in 1920 to an estimated 2 million in 2020. Unfortunately, mass human occupation in the valley has resulted in severe damage to the natural habitats of thousands of native species. The focus of this project are two anadromous species of fish in the Guadalupe River: Chinook salmon and steelhead trout. In recent years, fish populations across California have seen significant decline not only from human induced catastrophe, but also due to region wide drought, a loss of freshwater, and poor ocean conditions. 

The Spartan ASV Team is an interdisciplinary group of twelve students across the mechanical, computer and electrical engineering departments at San Jose State University. Our team will develop a fully autonomous surface vehicle capable of photographing and documenting the GPS location of these endangered fish as they are encountered. This design will incorporate a multitude of sensors and microcontrollers to accomplish fully autonomous navigation in all river conditions.  

The Spartan ASV Team has partnered with the South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition (SBCCC), a non-governmental organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of healthy waterways in the Santa Clara Valley. Every year during the spawning season, volunteers work tirelessly to document and count the number of fish returning. Reclaimed areas of the watershed are observed for activity and documented efforts are used for community outreach. The challenges faced by the SBCCC include the monitoring and preservation of waterways that cover an estimated 779 square miles of small creeks and rivers. In 2018 alone, more than 30 volunteers spent over 300 volunteer hours on such efforts.   

With hard work, innovation, and passion for a drive to sustainability, this team can prevent two more species from being added to the list of the hundreds of others disappearing every month.  It is our hope that you will join us in protecting both chinook salmon and steelhead trout from disappearing from our community forever by providing funding for the development of this project.

Please make your gift today by clicking one of the giving levels to the right!

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Steelhead Trout

Also known as the rainbow trout, this anadromous species of fish is a keystone species in the Santa Clara Valley watershed. A donation of this level will allow our team to purchase basic hardware to supplement our modular design approach.


Chinook Salmon

Chinook Salmon are the main focus of this project, a donation of this level will provide our team with much-needed sensors and microcontrollers. These tools will be used both for testing and data acquisition purposes.


Martinez Beaver

This beaver is sometimes known as nature's ecosystem engineer. These animals were so heavily poached for their fur that only recently have they been coming back into their natural habitats. A donation of this level will allow our team to purchase a battery management system that will power the entire vehicle.


Snowy Egret

One of the many birds of prey that live in the Santa Clara Valley watershed, this hunter wades in shallow waters waiting to ambush small fish. A donation level of this size would allow our team to purchase a high resolution low-light underwater camera.


Great Blue Heron

The apex predator of the Guadalupe River, this bird represents the largest donation level. A donation of this size would allow us to purchase a high-quality sonar sensor for detecting nearby objects such as the river floor, driftwood, and most importantly fish!

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