HD Camera is LIVE at Axial Seamount!
The high-definition video camera on the OOI Cabled Array is streaming live, very high resolution views of black smoker and diffusely venting fluids and associated biological communities at the Mushroom hydrothermal edifice within the ASHES hydrothermal field on the western side of the caldera.
The camera is associated with an osmo fluid sampler for follow-on chemical analyses of diffusely flowing fluids and with a novel temperaure (thermistor) array that provides 3D measurements of temperatures in diffusely flowing fluids immediately adjasent to the Mushroom chimney. Exit temperatures in orifices on the Mushroom chimney have been measured at over 260°C - the surrounding seawater is ~2°C. In concert, these instruments are providing characterization of fluid flow and chimney growth evolution, and how fluid chemistry and temperature impact communities of tube worms, palmworms, scaleworms, limpets, and microbes at this site. These data will also allow characterization of how the macrofaunal communities evolve over time in response to changing environmental conditions at this dynamic volcano that includes volcanic and seismic events.
The HD video camera system is composed of a high definition camera and LED lights that are 5 feet apart. It was built by engineers at the University of Washington Applied Physics Lab. The camera is a SubC 1Cam high-definition video camera that includes pan, tilt and zoom capabilites and transmits an uncompressed video stream in real-time to shore at a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, 60 frames per second, interlaced. The shorthand notation for this mode is 1080i60. LED lights provide ~4800 Lumens each, more than enough to light up the vent. They typically run at 75% and are controllable to any level using serial communications
During the VISIONS'13 UW-RSN OOI Expedition, the SubC 1Cam high-definition video camera assembly was installed at the base of the hydrothermal vent called Mushroom in the ASHES hydrothermal field on the western side of the caldera at Axial Seamount. On August 12th, 2013 the camera was powered up using the Remotely Operated Vehicle ROPOS through 4 km of extension cable installed on the seafloor and the video was streamed in real-time to shore. Onboard the R/V Thompson, the uncompressed video and the compressed stream were archived. During testing of the camera, the zoom, pan, and tilt capabilities were fully tested, as were the lasers. Several hours of video were collected.
The camera was connected to the Primary Infrastructure during the VISIONS '14 UW-RSN OOI Expedition and video were streamed live to shore. The glass component of the camera housing was cleaned during the 2015 UW-OOI Cabled Array operations and maintenance cruise July 4-August 7, again using the ROV ROPOS and R/V Thompson. For several months, the camera has been streaming video live to shore 8 times a day, panning across the entire chimney and zooming in on key areas that allow measurements to be made of chimney growth over time and changes in animal and microbial communities. CAMHDA301 continues to stream live HD video to shore over the dedicated 10 GbE extension cable that connects the HD camera to Primary Node PN3B. It will be turned during the VISIONS'16 expedition July 11-August 15, 2016.