Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
2004 projects
Midwater research

Investigation of unobtrusive observational techniques

Project Manager: Edith Widder
Lead Engineer: Gene Massion

As part of our continuing investigation into developing unobtrusive observational capabilities for ocean exploration, we wish to examine the apparent differences between animal abundance measurements from ROV Ventana when compared to those from ROV Tiburon and the midwater submersibles Deep Rover and Johnson-Sea-Link. Our observations indicate that surprisingly low numbers of certain groups of species are measured during transects by Ventana. In order to test our hypothesis that hydraulic motor noise on Ventana may be impacting abundance estimates, we wish to run transects from the much quieter Tiburon, but fit the Tiburon with a hydraulic motor like that used on the Ventana (or perhaps an equivalent sound generator). Comparative transects will then be run with and without the motor on, as well as with red vs. white light.

Efforts are continuing to develop means of unobtrusive observation using red light. Analysis of data collected with the Eye-in-the-Sea in Monterey Canyon in 2002 have revealed that there is some response of animals to the 660 nanometer illumination. It is not an actual startle response, but they do move off from the vicinity of the light over time. We therefore want to try using 680 and 690 nanommeter light as alternatives. We have also developed a luminescent lure that imitates the bioluminescent frenzy of an Atolla jellyfish that we want to deploy with Eye-in-the-Sea using the ROV Ventana

Last updated: Feb. 05, 2009