Photographic Benthic Observing System (PhoBOS)
Capturing video of the deep sea floor 24/7
This photo shows the PhoBOS video system on top of the MARS science node in Monterey Bay. Image: (c) 2010 MBARI
The Photographic Benthic Observing System (PhoBOS) is an integrated suite of instruments that have been placed near the MARS site to monitor ocean conditions and seafloor life. PhoBOS includes several instruments that measure water temperature, salinity (a Seabird CTD), oxygen content of the surrounding water (Aanderaa Optode), fluorescence which is a measure of chlorophyll (Wet labs ECO Triplet) and ocean currents (an RDI Workhorse ADCP). The package also includes an underwater high-definition video camera (MBARI/Sony HD Camera) mounted on a pan and tilt unit that can be controlled via the Internet.
PhoBOS is currently positioned 20 meters north of the MARS node and is plugged into one of the eight science ports. Data and video from PhoBOS helps engineers and ROV pilots better understand the conditions at the MARS site. This makes it easier to design and install equipment on the deep-sea observatory.
The PhoBOS video camera provides another view of the site that is useful for ROV operators working around the MARS site. The video also provides researchers with a view of the sea life activity on the sea floor. Data from the system, including still images, is being logged by the MBARI Shore Side Data System (SSDS) and will soon be available on the web.