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Nick Michel-Hart

Head, OE Department & Principal Engineer





Department Affiliation

Ocean Engineering


B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington - Seattle, 2004

M.S. Physics, University of Washington, 2019


2000-present and while at APL-UW

An autonomous platform for near real-time surveillance of harmful algae and their toxins in dynamic coastal shelf environments

Moore, S.K., J.B. Mickett, G.J. Doucette, N.G. Adams, C.M. Mikulski, J.M. Birch, B. Roman, N. Michel-Hart, and J.A. Newton, "An autonomous platform for near real-time surveillance of harmful algae and their toxins in dynamic coastal shelf environments," J. Mar. Sci. Eng., 9, doi:10.3390/jmse9030336, 2021.

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18 Mar 2021

Efforts to identify in situ the mechanisms underpinning the response of harmful algae to climate change demand frequent observations in dynamic and often difficult to access marine and freshwater environments. Increasingly, resource managers and researchers are looking to fill this data gap using unmanned systems. In this study we integrated the Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) into an autonomous platform to provide near real-time surveillance of harmful algae and the toxin domoic acid on the Washington State continental shelf over a three-year period (2016–2018). The ESP mooring design accommodated the necessary subsystems to sustain ESP operations, supporting deployment durations of up to 7.5 weeks. The combination of ESP observations and a suite of contextual measurements from the ESP mooring and a nearby surface buoy permitted an investigation into toxic Pseudo-nitzschia spp. bloom dynamics. Preliminary findings suggest a connection between bloom formation and nutrient availability that is modulated by wind-forced coastal-trapped waves. In addition, high concentrations of Pseudo-nitzschia spp. and elevated levels of domoic acid observed at the ESP mooring location were not necessarily associated with the advection of water from known bloom initiation sites. Such insights, made possible by this autonomous technology, enable the formulation of testable hypotheses on climate-driven changes in HAB dynamics that can be investigated during future deployments.

Low-energy shelf response in thin energy-dispersive X-ray detectors from Compton scattering of hard X-rays

Michel-Hart, N., and W.T. Elam, "Low-energy shelf response in thin energy-dispersive X-ray detectors from Compton scattering of hard X-rays," Nucl. Instrum. Meth. A, 863, doi:10.1016/j.nima.2017.04.039, 2017.

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1 Aug 2017

Silicon drift detectors have been successfully employed in both soft and hard X-ray spectroscopy. The response function to incident radiation at soft X-ray levels has been well studied and modeled, but less research has been published on response functions for these detectors to hard X-ray input spectra above 20 keV. When used with hard X-ray sources a significant low energy, non-peak response exists which can adversely affect detection limits for lighter elements in, for example, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. We present a numerical model that explains the non-peak response function of silicon drift detectors to hard X-rays based on incoherent Compton scattering within the detector volume. Experimental results are presented and numerically compared to model results.


Real-time Ocean Mooring for the Environmental Sample Processor

Record of Invention Number: 48554

John Mickett, Nick Michel-Hart


20 Feb 2019

High Resolution Index of Refraction Measurement of Fluids

Record of Invention Number: 48190

Nick Michel-Hart


20 Oct 2017

Deep Underwater WIFI Antennas for AUV

Record of Invention Number: 47664

Mike Kenney, Tim McGinnis, Nick Michel-Hart, Chris Siani


28 Mar 2016

More Inventions

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center