Time-lapse camera mooring
The time-lapse camera system was first deployed at Station M in 1989 (Smith et al., 1993), and has since been collecting time-lapse image data sets of approximately four months each. The camera takes one still photograph of the seafloor every hour and the film is recovered and the equipment redeployed during maintenance cruises 3 times a year. The time-lapse camera consists of a Benthos 377 camera mounted on a titanium frame at an angle of 31º from horizontal with the lens ~2 m above the sea floor. The camera is equipped with a 28-mm Nikonos lens, providing angular coverage of 50º in the horizontal and 35º in the vertical plane, and holds 400 feet of 35-mm color-negative film (Fuji, Type 8514, 500 ASA). Up to 3500 images can be collected in 4.6 months. Two 400-W-s strobes, one mounted on either side of the camera housing, illuminate approximately 20 m2 of the sea floor beginning at a distance of 1.8 m from the camera frame and extending approximately 6.5 m from the base of the camera frame (see Smith et al. 1993 for a more complete description of the time-lapse camera). In June 2007 a high-resolution digital camera was added to the frame. The camera is housed with a PC104 processor and external memory drive. These components are used to control the camera and store images. Additionally, in the same housing are a low power controller (Persistor CF2) and an electronic interface board to control power to the PC104 stack, camera, and strobes.