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Design and implementation of advanced underwater imaging systems for deep sea marine archaeological surveys

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3 Author(s)
Coleman, D.F. ; Inst. for Exploration, Mystic, CT, USA ; Newman, J. ; Ballard, R.D.

During the summer of 2000, the Institute for Exploration (IFE) will conduct a major oceanographic expedition in the Black Sea. The main objectives are: (1) To search the shallow shelf along the north coast of Turkey for submerged evidence of ancient humans from more than 7000 years ago when the Black Sea was an inland lake 150 meters below present-day sea level; (2) To search the deep waters for ancient shipwrecks that may have well-preserved wooden structural components due to the anaerobic environment; and (3) to document with video and still images any archaeologically significant discoveries. Woods Hole Marine Systems Inc. (WHMSI) is developing a new suite of deep submergence vehicles and systems that will be devoted to IFE's marine archaeology expeditions in the Black Sea and elsewhere. Two underwater imaging vehicles have already been completed. The first, ARGUS, is an optical tow sled equipped with tilting underwater video and film cameras, HMI lights, an electronic still camera, thrusters to control heading, and a scanning sonar. In addition to its own imaging capabilities, ARGUS is also the depressor for LITTLE HERCULES, a mid-sized fully maneuverable imaging ROV designed to support a High Definition underwater video camera. Each vehicle will transmit real-time images of archaeological sites via a fiber optic umbilical cable to a control room on board the surface ship, where the imagery and data will be viewed, processed, analyzed, and archived. To supplement the lighting during the survey of an archeological site, WHMSI has also built a new offload lighting package

Published in:

OCEANS 2000 MTS/IEEE Conference and Exhibition  (Volume:1 )

Date of Conference:

2000