Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Data & Images

Data and video: formats and specifics

External scientists purchasing MBARI research vessel/ROV time can arrange for the following:

Video tapes; camera log; video annotations; frame grabs; navigation; CTDO; non-core data or data specific to new instrumentation; and samples.

Procedures: Follow the cruise planning procedures. After the cruise, the scientist must submit a postcruise report for data to be released. In addition, the scientist must submit an external request for data and video tapes to Lonny Lundsten (831-775-1762), MBARI's primary contact for external users of ROV video and data. In the request, the scientist should specify the formats and data types they would like from their expeditions, and if they would like them made available on an ftp site or a CD. After this request is received, data will be placed on MBARI’s anonymous ftp site (under /pub/ShipData/Scientist's name/Yearday) within a week or two, and remain available there for seven days. Copies of dive video will be mailed to the scientist within 30 days of the request date. Data burned onto a CD will be mailed along with the video tapes. Detailed information for each data type and the data policy are below.

Video tapes:Within 30 days of the request date, the scientist will receive by mail one copy of the dive video in the tape format of their choice. The tape formats available are VHS, MiniDV, Hi8, Sony 1/2" Analog or Digital Betacam™. Sony Betacam™ is the only format in which the video frame codes can  be synched with frame grab filenames and camera log data. For other formats it is recommended that the Betacam™ frame code be superimposed on the video images (see example of overlay); please let Lonny know if you want this overlay to be continuous, only at the beginning of each tape, or not at all. Original Digital Betacam or high-definition video footage will remain at MBARI.

Camera log: Files of video frame code with corresponding UTC time and camera settings are available via MBARI's anonymous ftp site or CD. These enable comparison of video with UTC time-stamped data sets and calculations of depth of field. 

Video annotations: If the scientist annotates the incoming video while on board the MBARI research vessel, those annotations can be made available in ASCII format on the anonymous ftp site or CD. Please indicate that you would like the VIF file. Training in the use of the annotation software should be arranged before the cruise with Lonny. The scientist can request Video Lab Technician time to annotate their videos. A charge of $60/hr will be added for these services. Completion of these annotations will be dependent on the number of dives and the number of tapes per dive, and will be determined at the time of the request.

  • Filenames like 2001001WT1.vif are video framecode-stamped ASCII files of the annotations.

Frame grabs: Still images taken from the video feed during the cruise are available in the following file types: jpg, png, and rgb (SGI format). The filenames correspond with the source video frame code. In your request, please indicate which format you would like to have available on the ftp site or data CD.

  • Filenames like 00_00_00_00.jpg are JPEG versions of the images, converted to PC-friendly filenames. These will be provided by default on the ftp site. View in browser or image processing software on any platform. After viewing JPG images, you can request PNG or RGB versions of specific images.
  • Filenames like fg1998285.tar are directories containing all available image types, comment files, and thumbnail slideshows. These require UNIX. Contact Lonny if you wish this option. See directions for un-tarring these.

Navigation data: The UTC time-stamped navigation data acquired by the ROV and ship are processed automatically during ship to shore transfer following the cruise. If requested, they will be available via MBARI's anonymous ftp site or on a CD. 

  • Filenames like nav2001001tibr.txt are comma-delimited ASCII files of navigation data from the vehicle.
  • Filenames like nav2001001wfly.txt are the navigation data from the ship.

CTDO data: The UTC time-stamped conductivity, temperature, depth, and oxygen (CTDO) acquired by the ROV or profiling CTD rosettes are processed automatically during ship to shore transfer. They will be available via MBARI's anonymous ftp site or CD. 

  • Filenames like 2001001tibrCtdDer.txt are comma-delimited ASCII files of CTDO data, with calibrations and algorithms applied and derived values calculated from the raw sensor data. 
  • Filenames like 2001001tibrCtdDer.gif are GIF plots of the same data.
  • Filenames like 2001001cast1.txt are ASCII files of rosette cast data.

Other data: All other, project-specific data are not handled automatically. Contact Mike Burczynski to access data already logged on the ship (e.g., vehicle status data). Contact Mike Burczynski to work out strategies for mechanically and electrically integrating new instrumentation with the ROV and logging the resulting data. Depending on the strategy developed for the instrument, the data might be logged directly by the external scientist or downloaded to floppy disk aboard the ship. This data will not be permanently archived at MBARI and must be archived and processed by the external scientist.

Samples: All samples collected during the cruise shall be the responsibility of the external scientist, and will not be stored in the MBARI Sample Archive (alternate arrangements must be approved by MBARI and specified in writing). Additional information can be found on the MBARI Sample Archive web pages.

Policy: Data, including video, frame grabs, navigation, and CTDO data provided to the chief scientist are protected under MBARI's policy during the scientist’s two-year exclusive-use embargo period. The chief scientist is responsible for providing copies of any of those data to scientific collaborators. Unless an extension is granted by MBARI's President, these data will become available for general use when the two-year embargo expires. Non-MBARI scientists who collect other data and samples retain possession and responsibility for those data and samples. 

Scientists who wish to contract for additional MBARI resources or obtain additional data must submit a separate request to Judith Connor, Director of Information and Technology Dissemination at MBARI. These requests are fulfilled only as resources are available. Alternatively, MBARI researchers may sponsor collaborators and assign a portion of their allocated MBARI resources through a Collaboration Agreement

| Cruise planning | Checklist for using video
| Frame grab directions | Data & Images |

Last updated: Jul. 18, 2012