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CMG Joins National Marine Fisheries Service in Channel Islands Cruise

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Guy Cochrane joined National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) biologists on a research cruise from March 19th-25th on the R/V Robert Gordon Sproul. The scientists video-surveyed four NMFS research areas in the Channel Islands off Southern California. Guy, Mike Boyle, and other WRCMG personnel had mapped these areas previously with sidescan sonar. During last March's cruise, video footage was collected using a DOE Phantom ROV (remotely operated vehicle) equipped with a digital color video camera, four lasers, sonar, and depth-estimating capabilities (see photo below). Divers surveyed shallow areas near shore and collected specimens of rockfish.

preparing the ROV for deployment
National Marine Fisheries Service personnel John Butler (left) and John Wagner prepare ROV for deployment.
diagram showing crane and weighted umbilical line used to keep umbilical clear of ship's propellers
Configuration found most successful for preventing umbilical from drifting into ship's propellers during remote videotaping (not to scale).

In deploying the ROV, the scientists tried several configurations for the "umbilical"-the cable along which instructions are sent from the ship to the ROV and video images are sent back to the ship. The trick was to keep the umbilical from drifting into the ship's propellers, a problem that can arise when the ship is moving slowly to facilitate videotaping. The most successful method was to run the umbilical down a weighted wire deployed off the aft A-frame, with 20 to 30 m of free umbilical extending from the bottom of the wire to the ROV. The weight was lowered to 5 to 10 m above the bottom. This configuration (see diagram above) allowed the vessel to steam about slowly without severing the umbilical.

Related Sound Waves Stories
Continued Benthic-Habitat Mapping and Submersible Dives in the Channel Islands
September, 2000
ROV Groundtruthing, Northern Channel Islands, California
June, 2000
Sidescan-Sonar Study of Benthic Habitat off Southern California
December, 1999
News from the Channel Islands
July, 1999
Western Region Benthic Habitat Project
May, 1999

Related Web Sites
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Sustainable Seas Expeditions
NOAA / National Geographic

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Great Blue Hole of Belize

Channel Islands Cruise

Lake Mead Mapping

Research New Underwater Microscope System

Hurricane Display

Outreach Reston Open House

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Monterey Open House

School-to-Work Partnership

Acadiana Migratory Bird Day

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Global Assessment of Geologically-Sourced Methane

Methane Hydrates

Metadata Workshop

Awards Sue Hunt—Recycling

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GIS 2001: Logan

GIS 2001: Massachusetts Bay

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