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Home » Earth Science

First underwater observatory live online

Submitted by on 31 December, 2015 – 4:33 pm
The underwater observatory is the first to show live images online. It’s getting into position 30m under the sea in western Sweden, scientists are studying the scavengers that feed on the whale carcass.

Scientists, including the Natural History Museum, have developed underwater observatory in the world, first went online.

Scientists, including the Natural History Museum, have developed the first underwater observatory connected to the Internet, creating a window into the ocean, one of the least studied environments of our planet.

Images are streamed live online from the observatory at sea, which means that scientists anywhere in the world are now able to study the processes in real time, helping to better understand marine ecosystems work.

The system was created by a team from the Museum of Natural History, University of Gothenburg, the Maritime Museum and Aquarium of Gothenburg, the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences, OceanLab Aberdeen and Bangor University.

Natural History Museum marine biologist Adrian Glover showed the live stream of the observatory at the grand opening of the new Darwin Center Museum last week with special guests Prince William and Sir David Attenborough. The current state of the art building allows the public to take a look at some of the important science research happening at the Museum.

Current studies under water

The observatory is 30 meters under water in a fjord on the west coast of Sweden at the Center for Marine Science Sven Loven. It is transmitting images of a living community in the compaction of the remains of a dead whale.

“Even something as simple as the decomposition of a small whale in shallow waters is largely unknown,” says Glover.

“Until now we had to do with the” one-off ‘visits using submersibles, remotely operated vehicles or divers.

Glover is currently studying the feeding behavior of scavengers that feed on the carcass. He is also hoping to study the colonization of bone by bone-eating worms of the genus Osedax, a species of which he discovered in 2005.

How does the Center

The underwater observatory consists of a video camera and instruments are mounted on a frame. Node data is sent live video over the cables to the observatory, a kind of communications center is in a cabin on a nearby island. The node is powered and connected to the Internet via fiber optic cables.

Technological advances in submarine cable instruments and allowed this system to work while a few years ago would not have been possible. However, there are some obstacles to overcome on the way, problems with computer software and the flooding of the camera housing to a sudden infestation of barnacles!

The future use of the observatory

The observatory is designed so it can be used in the deep ocean potentially much greater. “If we succeed in raising funds, we would deploy our observatory on the sea bottom with a remotely operated vehicle that works,” says Glover.

“We know even less about the processes in the deep sea, and a network of observatories like this could revolutionize our understanding of the marine environment.

More information: Underwater observatory live video stream: http://www.kmf.gu.se/bildcenter/kamera2/

Provided by American Museum of Natural History (web)

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