Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Press Room
17 November 2008

Images related to the MBARI Media Advisory
Deep-sea observatory goes live

Note: These images may not be copied, reprinted, or used without explicit permission from MBARI or from the photographers. Members of the media needing higher-resolution versions should contact Kim Fulton-Bennett, kfb@mbari.org, 831-775-1835.


Image credit: David Fierstein (c) 2005 MBARI

The Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS) allows scientists to perform long-term and real-time experiments 900 meters below the surface of Monterey Bay. The main MARS science node (orange pyramid) is connected to shore by a 52-km-long power and fiber-optic cable. MARS will serve as an engineering, science, and education test bed for even more extensive ocean observatories in the US and Canada.


Image credit: (c) 2007 MBARI

This computer-generated view of Monterey Bay shows the route of the MARS ocean observatory cable, which starts at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, California. The observatory itself (red square) is located on a sloping undersea plateau called "Smooth Ridge," about 35 kilometers (20 miles) from shore and 900 meters (3,000 feet) below the sea surface.


Image credit: © 2008 MBARI

The completed hub of the MARS observatory sits on the seafloor 900 meters below the surface of Monterey Bay. The cable to shore extends to the left side of the photo. Plugs for four of the eight experiments are visible inside the open doors of the protective steel frame.


Image credit: © 2008 MBARI

This photograph, taken by cameras on the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Ventana, shows the ROV's manipulator arm plugging the main data cable into the hub of the MARS observatory.


Image credit: Kim Fulton-Bennett © 2008 MBARI

MARS operations manager Craig Dawe and MBARI engineer Gene Massion work on the central hub of the MARS Observatory in the MBARI test tank. Beneath the yellow float are two titanium cylinders containing the submarine equivalent of an electrical substation and a computer network switch box.


Image credit: Kim Fulton-Bennett © 2008 MBARI

Crew members and pilots aboard MBARI's research vessel Point Lobos lower the hub of the MARS observatory into Monterey Bay. The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Ventana carried this hub down 900 meters below the surface and placed it in the trawler-resistant frame.


Image credit: Keith Raybould © 2008 MBARI

Crew members aboard the IT Intrepid work on the protective metal frame for the hub of the MARS observatory. This orange metal pyramid—about 4 by 5 meters (12 by 15 feet) across and 1.2 meters (4 feet) tall—protects the observatory electronics from damage due to anchors or fishing nets.


Image credit: Keith Raybould © 2008 MBARI

Crew members aboard the IT Intrepid launch the protective metal frame for the hub of the MARS observatory. This orange metal pyramid—about 4 by 5 meters (12 by 15 feet) across and 1.2 meters (4 feet) tall—protects the observatory electronics from damage due to anchors or fishing nets.

Last updated: Apr. 21, 2009