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Alvin Down-Looking Camera

Under the existing MISO grant a specialized frame was fabricated for use with Alvin for down-looking image acquisition using the MISO digital deep-sea cameras and strobes. Figures to the left show the unit on the Alvin basket. This includes a fiberglass base, and Delrin strobe mounts which articulate outward by small hydraulic rams powered using Alvin’s hydraulics so that adequate camera/strobe separation is achieved. A junction box was manufactured that provides easy integration into the Alvin science wiring system and for efficient downloading of the images from the camera using a parallel connector on the J-box so that the camera connection does not have to be accessed.

This system has been used by several investigators for down-looking image acquisition from Alvinin the Galapagos Rift [Shank et al., 2002, 2005, Rzhanov et al., in press], East Pacific Rise [Shank et al., 2004] and in the Gulf of Mexico [C. Fisher, unpub. data, 2006].


MISO Alvin down-looking camera/strobe frame.
MISO Alvin down-looking camera/strobe frame. Photo shows detail of starboard strobe mount and junction box (red arrow points to the connector used to download images, blue arrow to hydr. ram)
MISO Alvin down-looking camera/strobe frame. Photo shows the full frame with the strobe electronics bottle (yellow arrow) mounted. The frame fits behind the Alvin basket support in order to minimize the basket space required to accommodate the system.