February 10, 2017

Atlantic Canada Profiles: SULIS

(Photo: SULIS Aquatic Technologies)

(Photo: SULIS Aquatic Technologies)

Changing the way we see the oceans

 
From its inception, SULIS has focussed on improving subsea vision. “Both optical quality and field of view are significantly compromised when you put a terrestrial camera lens behind a flat port (window), underwater,” said Adam Gobi (BEng, MSc), founder and CEO of SULIS Aquatic Technologies. “A dome-shaped port helps with field of view, but it is a crude optical element that adds additional optical distortions and aberrations that must be properly considered in the optical design process.”
 
It is these sorts of optical limitations that have been the standard for years.
 
Before founding SULIS, Gobi developed the world’s first 3D-HD and 5K full-ocean-depth cameras for James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenger submersible. “Jim had very exacting standards for what he wanted. It just wasn’t available on the market, so we had to start from scratch,” Gobi said.
 
This is what SULIS was built on; taking explorers, scientists and filmmakers of the world beyond the depths, and helping them gain a deeper understanding of our world’s oceans through the highest resolution possible.
 
SULIS has spent the past few years perfecting its first commercialized 4K deep-sea zoom camera, the SULIS Z70, built around optics specifically designed for aquatic environments.
 
With 12X optical zoom, full manual controls, an ultra-wide angle field of view and pristine corner to corner 4K resolution, the Z70 is what the world’s leading scientists and filmmakers have been dreaming of; in fact, they even helped build it. Through a collaboration with the Schmidt Ocean Institute, SULIS has had direct feedback every step the way from SOI’s top engineers and scientists.
 
Chosen as SOI’s main science cam for its own engineering marvel, SuBastian, a new purpose-built state of the art science ROV, the Z70 will soon be producing the most publicly available deepsea footage, with live feeds streaming from some of the most poorly explored parts of the sea. It’s already begun, with rare high-quality footage captured by SuBastian this past December, 2016, showing newly discovered deep-sea black smokers in incredible detail in the Mariana Back-Arc. International Business Times UK reported that “scientists are poring over the videos of the hydrothermal vents to see how many new species they can spot.”
 
Filmmakers and producers have also taken a fancy to the Z70’s capabilities. To provide the same level of control they are used to with their terrestrial cameras, SULIS has built a control panel with a precision three-axis joystick for zooming and pan/tilt control, dials for finely-tuned adjustment of focus, iris, and other settings, as well as a 7-inch touchscreen for camera status monitoring and full control of all settings.
 
SULIS Z70 Specs
  • Deep-ocean camera with live 4K video transmission and 12X optical zoom
  • Unparalleled optics designed specifically for aquatic environments down to 6,000m 
  • Fully-corrected 100-degree ultra wide-angle field of view (diagonal)
  • Large 1-inch sensor for increased light sensitivity
  • 20-megapixel stills capture
  • Full manual controls, including a broadcast-quality control panel.
 
(As published in the January/February 2017 edition of Marine Technology Reporter)
CanadaJames CameronSchmidt Ocean Institute