Deep tow and drop camera systems

The deep tow and drop camera systems are specialised submersible camera platforms designed to capture high quality video and still images from depths up to 6000 m.

What they're used for

The deep towed camera can capture seafloor video and images, with the platform's maximum operating depth being 6000 m. The data from deep towed camera can be used to identify and measure abundance of species, and visually survey the structure of the seafloor. Paired lasers are also fitted to the system for object sizing.

The Deep Tow Camera System is deployed from ships to peer deep below the ocean surface to collect information about the deep sea

The drop camera can be lowered to a maximum operating depth of 5000 m. The camera can be used to investigate the structure and features (including shipwrecks) of the seafloor.

How they work

The deep towed camera is a submersible camera platform with still image and HD video cameras capable of taking high resolution imagery of the sea floor. This platform is towed behind the vessel while it is underway.

The drop camera is a small submersible camera platform with two medium definition cameras built for quick deployment. This camera is deployed vertically from the vessel while it is stationary or moving only at slow speed.

Key features

Deep towed camera

A forward-looking camera, long range altimeter and USBL position monitoring assist with the platform’s piloting, and a SBE37 CTD samples the water column temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen during deployment, with control from a purpose built electrical housing.

  • Cannon 1DX DSLR – remote viewing and control
  • Cannon C300 HD cinema camera – live HDSDI video steam and recording
  • Hitachi PAL forward camera
  • 4 x Deep Sea Power & Light floodlights – remote controlled
  • Kongsberg-Mesotech 500m range altimeter
  • SBE37 – live CTD data acquisition and monitoring
  • 2 x Deep Sea Power & Light size reference lasers
  • Spare 12VDC/24VDC RS232 serial port with audio input for additional payloads
  • Spare 12VDC/24VDC ethernet port for additional payloads

Drop camera

A long range altimeter and USBL position monitoring assist with the platform’s piloting, and a SBE39 CTD samples the water column during deployment, with everything controlled by a purpose built electrical housing.

  • Deep Sea Power & Light Super Wide-i Seacam – wide remote viewing
  • Deep Sea Power & Light
  • Wide-i Seacam – wide remote viewing
  • 2 x Deep Sea Power & Light spotlights – remote controlledKongsberg-Mesotech 500m range altimeter
  • SBE37 – Live CTD data acquisition and monitoring
  • Spare 12VDC/24VDC serial port for additional payloads

Considerations

Deep towed camera

The deep towed camera is deployed while the vessel is underway, and can only be deployed on a downhill/flat seafloor gradient and travelling towards open water (to allow sufficient space for recovery).

The platform can only be deployed with acceptable weather and sea-state conditions forecast for the entirety of the deployment. Additional power limits are available for added payloads and deployment duration is dependant on availability of technical staff.

Drop camera

The drop camera is deployed as a vertical drop camera only

The platform can only be deployed with acceptable weather and sea-state conditions forecast for the entirety of the deployment. Additional power limits are available for added payloads and deployment duration is dependant on availability of technical staff.