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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 09:49 AM CDT

Woods Hole Uses Fujinon Lens to Explore Deep-Sea Volcano

Courtesy Fujinon
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution used a Fujinon HD zoom lens to photograph an erupting volcano 4,000 feet below the surface in the South Pacific.
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Fujinon (Wayne, N.J.) has announced the Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory (AIVL) at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) used a Fujinon HA13x4.5 wide-angle Premier Series HD zoom lens on a prototype still and HD video camera to capture the first video and still images of a deep-sea volcano actively erupting molten lava on the seafloor.

During a research expedition last May aboard the RV Thomas Thompson, oceanographers from NOAA used Jason, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that is part of the National Deep Submergence Facility operated by WHOI, to observe and record the powerful event, which occurred in the South Pacific almost 4,000 feet below the ocean surface. The HD video footage was shown for the first time at the American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco.

A team of scientists led by Dr. Joe Resing, a chemical oceanographer at the University of Washington and NOAA, used the Jason ROV, which was positioned close to the erupting volcano to collect samples of rocks, water, and biological specimens. “We were lucky to have those cameras on the vehicle. They are important to the science,” said Tim Shank, a WHOI macro-biologist who, along with Maryann Keith, helped operate the camera system. “We use the high-def cameras to try to identify species. They allow us to look at the morphology of the animals, some smaller than three or four inches long.”

The unique camera system was designed and operated by AIVL, which develops high-resolution imaging systems for scientific and entertainment imaging applications. Footage from AIVL systems has been used in hundreds of television programs and documentaries, as well as IMAX films.

According to William N. Lange, AIVL research specialist, the camera’s 1-CCD image sensor acquires up to 60 still images per second while simultaneously generating HD video at 29.97 frames per second. The system offers 1920x1080 resolution, producing raw still image data without spatial compression and a 10-bit, 4:2:2 HD-SDI video stream.

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