Silicon Valley Tech Tracking Gulf Oil Spill

Turner's tools helping Gulf cleanup efforts

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    VENICE, LA - MAY 17: Greenpeace marine biologist Paul Horsman shows oil collected from a jetti at the mouth of the Mississippi River on May 17, 2010 in near Venice, Louisiana. BP announced today that it is successfully siphoning off 1,000 barrels of oil per day from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded and sank to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico April 22, killing 11 crew members. The amount of oil escaping from the well is a matter of dispute, making the success of BP's effort difficult for regulators to ascertain. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

    They look like tools your plumber might be using, or maybe someone coming to check your energy meter. Instead, these small devices could very well play a role in the biggest oil spill disaster we've ever seen.

    Until this week, Turner Designs had not gotten a whole lot of attention from the Silicon Valley crowd. Yes, they deal in pretty complex technology, but there's no social-networking or micro-blogging involved, just manufacturing scientific instruments to track oil spills.

    Silicon Valley Tech Tracking Gulf Oil Spill

    [BAY] Silicon Valley Tech Tracking Gulf Oil Spill
    They look like tools your plumber might be using, or maybe someone coming to check your energy meter. Instead, these small devices could very well play a role in the biggest oil spill disaster we've ever seen.

    The instruments about to enter the spotlight have names like the C3 Submersible Flourometer, and the Cyclops-7 Submersible Crude Oil Sensor. You probably couldn't recognize them in a lineup, but they're being counted on to help stem the flow of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Turner's devices are being used mainly to help track the flow of oil. The C3 Flourometer, for example, uses optical sensors to track the flow. With news coming out fast and furious about just how much oil has been leaked in the BP disaster, tracking the spill is now topic number one in the press, and on the scene of the spill.

    As BP itself pumps mud and cement into the leak to stem it, the big task of tracking just how much oil has been lost, and where that oil may end up, could likely last for awhile.

    Which means a Silicon Valley company you don't know yet is probably going to be pretty well known before too long.

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