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The VPR is essentially an underwater microscope used to take pictures of zooplankton. A video camera mounted in one of the arms focuses on a point midway between the two arms. A strobe on the other arm illuminates the imaged volume and flashes 15 times per second, producing 15 high resolution, color images per second of the particles and plankton in the water. The images are saved internally on a computer hard disk. The instrument is mounted in a frame (see photo) and lowered into the water from the stern of the ship. A CTD also is mounted next to the VPR to collect depth, temperature, and salinity information at the same time as each video image. The instrument is lowered down through the water to a maximum depth of 350 meters so that we get a profile of plankton/particle abundance and type along with temperature and salinity. (photo by Scott Gallagher, WHOI)


Last updated: September 16, 2008

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