SubC Imaging working with University of Washington on Ocean Observatories Initiative


SubC has been awarded a contract by the University of Washington to provide underwater Ethernet digital cameras, lighting and related services to support the objectives of the National Science Foundations’ Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Cabled Array. The OOI Cabled Array is a networked infrastructure of sensor systems to measure physical, chemical, geological, and biological variables in the ocean and beneath/at the seafloor.


SubC’s Rayfin cameras, featuring parallel dot scaling lasers and paired with Aquorea LEDs, will be deployed on mooring platforms at a water depth of 200m in some of the most biologically productive waters for real-time observations of the biota.


University of Washington, NSF-OOI, CSSF

In addition to this recent contract, SubC was previously involved with supplying cameras and lights for the OOI Cabled Array and Ocean Network Canada’s Neptune ocean observatories. This involvement has helped SubC develop the expertise to create extremely reliable underwater systems for long-term deployments. Each part of the system is multi-purpose, thereby reducing the complexity of the overall system. By automating as much as possible, workflow is improved.


Architecture and design mentality: A multi-purpose system reduces the amount of equipment and cost of operation.


Optics and area of interest: The Rayfin LiquidOptics allows for a wide field of view of 81° and 1:1 advanced water-corrected optics.


High-resolution video formats: Compressing high-resolution stills and 4K video inside the camera allows for saved footage to be transferred via Ethernet.


Future-proofing: A software-defined camera that can receive updates remotely and includes a GPU for machinevision processing.


Lighting (LEDs): The Aquorea LED can operate automatically as both a lamp and strobe simultaneously and is addressable over RS485 multidrop.


Camera as a mux: By utilizing Aux ports, the camera is the multiplexer, limiting the amount of equipment needed and reducing project cost.




University of Washington, NSF-OOI, CSSF

The Cabled Array is part of the NSF-funded OOI located off the Oregon coast. Data from over 140 instruments are streamed live to shore and used to progress research areas from plate-scale geodynamics to underwater volcanoes, ocean circulation, climate change and coastal ecosystems.



University of Washington and the Center for Environmental Visualization

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