Magazine article ASEE Prism

Deep Sea Digital

Magazine article ASEE Prism

Deep Sea Digital

Article excerpt

BRIEFINGS

Marine biology, admits Dave Smith, a computer engineer at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) in Fort Pierce, Fla., still relies on nets to learn about species of the deep. "It is the only science still using 150-year-old technology," he complains. The sea creatures we know anything about are "the slow, the stupid and the greedy," Smith says, because all of the other countless ocean denizens avoid the nets. Submarines and robotic submersibles equipped with cameras haven't proved too useful, either, because not only are they expensive to operate but the lights they need to illuminate the underwater world scare off most animals. Enter the "eye-in-the-sea" camera, developed for HBOI by Harvey Mudd College, an engineering and science school in Claremont, Calif The digital camera-which takes both still photos and videos--can operate to a depth of 3,000 feet. …

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