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SharkCam provides a 360-degree field of view for filming sharks and other marine animals in the wild. (Big Wave Productions)


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Shark cam

REMUS SharkCam deployed off Chatham, Mass., in 2012
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» SharkCam Interactive Tour

SharkCam is a specially adapted REMUS-100 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) equipped with video cameras and navigational and scientific instrumentation that enable it to locate, track, and closely follow a tagged marine animal, such as a North Atlantic white shark (great white). The vehicle is pre-programmed to home in on a signal from a transponder beacon attached to a dart tag and to follow the animal at depths up to 100 meters (330 feet).

SharkCam uses an omni-directional ultra-short baseline (USBL) navigation system to determine the range, bearing, and depth of a tagged animal. It then closes on the animal to a pre-determined stand-off distance and position (left, right, above, or below) and to film it swimming and interacting with its environment without interfering with the animal's behavior. Another system on the vehicle permits it to communicate with scientists on the surface every 10 to 20 seconds and to receive commands from the surface to change speed, depth, or other mission parameters as necessary.

So far, SharkCam has been tested on white sharks and basking sharks near Cape Cod. Plans are currently underway to use the system in the Pacific Ocean near Guadalupe, Mexico, and to follow other large marine animals. SharkCam also is evolving into an "Oceaneye" that can be fine-tuned to follow other marine creatures such as turtles and seals and potentially even some smaller animals such as eels.

Specifications

Length: 2.3m (90 in.)

Diameter: 19cm (7.5 in.)

Weight: 45kg (100 lbs.)

Maximum depth: 100m (328 ft.)

Maximum speed: 5 knots

Maximum range: 36 nautical miles (at 4.5 knots)

Mission duration: Up to 8 hours

Instrumentation:

  • 6 REMUS GoPro video cameras providing 360° field-of-view
  • Omni-directional USBL navigation system
  • Acoustic communication system (ACOMMS), modem, and transducer
  • Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP)
  • GPS/Wi-fi/Iridium antenna
  • Conductivity and temperature probe



Last updated: July 22, 2014
 


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