OceanGate and Battelle combined undersea technologies to explore mysteries of the Gulf of Mexico’s Flower Garden Banks
When OceanGate’s Cyclops 1 dove deep into the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, it did so with an extra set of all-seeing eyes. Mounted to the five-man submersible was the Battelle HorizonVue, a video camera that provides real-time, live video with a 360-degree view.
The camera helped the crew during its expedition this week that kicked off the “Eye on the Sanctuaries Tour,” exploring ocean depths to 500 meters (1,600 feet) to view a rare coral spawning event, inspect a decommissioned oil drilling platform and explore a deep sea canyon in the Gulf of Mexico.
Intended for use by Work Class ROV operators, and the subsea oil and gas industries, the HorizonVue camera provides enhanced situational awareness in areas where keeping track of multiple objects simultaneously is critical.
The HorizonVue camera and software records all 360 degrees of the scene simultaneously. When the video is played back the user is able to use a digital pan and tilt window to explore the 360 image in an immersive environment to investigate what is missed by the array of cameras normally used.
The HorizonVue reduces the time, effort and expense needed to work in crowded, complex undersea environments. The cameras, which are available for new demonstrations, can be easily retrofitted on vehicles currently in use or incorporated into newly built platforms using the COTS connector of choice. It can replace multiple cameras with one device that is lighter, uses less power and has no moving parts.
OceatGate’s Cyclops 1 submersible is suited as a platform for testing undersea technology. Seating for five people allows real-time collaboration during the dive, with the option to get immediate testing feedback. Direct communication with the submersible pilot provides flexibility to alter the dive profile based on changing conditions.