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New optical modem venture

Talking Through Water

Scientists strive to quickly recover data after it is collected from ocean depths, a process that is often cumbersome and costly. WHOI engineer Norman Farr and his colleagues have helped speed the process by developing an optical modem system called BlueComm, which operates wirelessly through the water. It allows scientists to upload large amounts of data and transmit video in near real-time from seafloor sensors, as well to operate robots without long, cumbersome tethers. Farr and fellow engineer Jonathan Ware recently partnered with U.K.-based underwater acoustics and communications company Sonardyne International Ltd., to create the joint venture, Lumasys, that will build and market the insturment. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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