The Odyssey has a new ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) onboard to capture unique underwater perspectives.
Photo: Genevieve Johnson
August 22, 2001
R.O.V. - Remotely Operated Vehicle
This is Chris Johnson speaking to you from the Odyssey, 50 miles off the north coast of Australia.
I probably have one of the best jobs on the boat whereby I film and photograph the daily events and the adventure of the voyage.
The Research Vessel Odyssey recently received a grant from the Norcross Foundation, inc, to purchase a self propelled underwater camera. The ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) is made by VideoRay, a leader in small underwater submersibles - http://www.videoray.com.
It is really going to give us a great new underwater perspective.
We are very excited to have this addition to the scientific equipment on board the Odyssey and plan to bring you a whole new perspective of the world beneath our keel as the Odyssey circles the globe. The footage captured by our VideoRay ROV will compliment the surface imagery we currently capture on the Odyssey's Bow-cam, and will take us into places and situations that would be difficult if not impossible for a diver.
The VideoRay ROV is very compact (14 inches in length) and portable (8 pounds in weight). It is easily transported and can be deployed and operated by just one person from the Odyssey or from our dingy. The ROV is connected to a video monitor, providing the pilot, who remains dry on deck, with a clear view of what the ROV is seeing beneath the surface of the sea. As well as video access, the operator is able to monitor the depth gauge and compass reading directly from the control panel. The ROV carries no batteries, it is completely powered and controlled from the surface through a tether line, 250 feet in length.
The ROV is equipped with two lights, three thrusters and a forward facing
camera. This miniature video camera is housed inside a marine grade aluminium body. It is able to tilt 75 degrees' up or down.
We will attempt to capture on film, with minimal interference, imagery that is typically inaccessible to a human cameraperson, whether this be a shark feeding frenzy on a carcass or interactions between marine creatures in their natural environment. The Odyssey crew will also use the VideoRay ROV as a back up to divers working in difficult situations. Locations will vary from rivers and bays to coral reefs and open ocean.
Very few divers dive below 200 feet, when they do it is with considerable risk. At this depth divers typically use mixed gases not available on the Odyssey. The size, speed and agility of the VideoRay ROV means that there are few restrictions to the dive location, duration, and depth. These exceptional capabilities will open up a whole new area of observation for the Odyssey crew.
From time to time, we will be posting video footage of the encounters
and experiences we capture on the VideoRay ROV, as we continue our expedition through the equatorial waters of the globe over the next 3.5 years.
Log by Genevieve & Chris Johnson