As people try to understand the dynamics of the ocean, devices are developed to gather information from ‘down there’, the mysterious depths of the ocean.
Today, Clare Reimers, chief scientist on board, with a group of graduate students and research assistants, prepare for their deployment-time this afternoon. Part of what they plan to do is take pictures at regular intervals.
They are careful to mount the special digital camera on the tri-pod, they clean the high-powered lens, they mount the strobe light, and they program the camera. At the same time other members of the team are mounting the battery pack, programming a delicate oxygen sensor and mounting this on the tri-pod alongside the camera.
As I watch the set-up and try to understand the science I’m reminded of the Mars-Lander, built to land in an upright position and able to withstand the elements. In this case, this ‘Lander’ must withstand moving currents and salty water.
When everything is ready and the time is right, the crew and the scientists work together to lift the tri-pod off the back deck and swing it out into the ocean. Imagine doing this with your camera, your i-pod, and your computer! You might want to make sure everything is sealed tight against the elements. In this case, everything was sealed tight and they released it attached to a long line, a metal radar ball, an orange float, and a flag. The entire set-up is out for the night, all programmed, ready to take pictures and measure oxygen.
The plan is to take a picture of an area during regular intervals while a sensor records oxygen levels almost continuously. A fin attached to the camera keeps the camera pointed into the current so that the photos taken are of the area where the sensor is takings its readings.
The information gathered is helpful in understanding more about the amount of oxygen available to living organisms that live off the coast of Oregon. Scientists, fisherman, and many others will benefit from the combined effort of many who work on finding out about this dynamic ocean by solving problems, and answering questions about our mysterious sea.
We captured a picture of a flatfish on the sea floor.