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2009 Greaveyard of the Atlantic Expedition

The Technology

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High Definition Video

The video acquisition portion of the expedition adds two elements of technology. One will be the use of state-of-the-art High Definition (HD) video equipment, which will reveal detailed images of the wreck and provide stunning image quality to document the entire expedition. More important is the means in which the video is recorded. As part of this collaboration of private industry, academia and a government agency, Sony© has provided our expedition with the latest in their arsenal of HD video equipment that records to an optical disc rather than the familiar video-tape formats of the past. This format will be a great improvement over tape based formats, especially for our intended use. This new state-of-the-art format will help to facilitate the production of the daily news reports by allowing instant access to a specific clip without having to spend hours rolling back and forth through tapes.

Having the latest in HD equipment would be useless without having a good eye for the camera. One of the unsung heroes of great video is the lens in which the camera looks through to record the image. Therefore, we will also be taking a look at the challenges that had to be overcome by companies such as Fujinon for the new HD standard.


Dive technology has come a long way and in recent years one of the oldest dive technologies “rebreathers” has been re-invented. Today, rebreathers have become the de facto tool for expedition diving. Unlike open circuit, or regular SCUBA, the dive gear that most people are familiar with where the air is exhaled out into the water, rebreathers are devices that reclaim the air that the diver exhales to be reused; hence the name "rebreather." As the diver breathes, the gas circulates through a breathing loop where carbon dioxide is scrubbed out and the oxygen the diver metabolizes is replenished, either manually or via electronic controllers. By re-circulating the exhaled air, the diver can remain at depth for extended periods on a very small supply of gas. To put things into perspective, one open circuit diver will use more gas on one dive to the Monitor than our entire team of ten rebreather divers will use on the same dive.


Rutgers University’s Institute of Marine and Coastal Science (IMCS) and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries will be conducting low level sidescan and water quality surveys using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) known as REMUS, an acronym for Remote Environmental Monitoring UnitS. This type of survey will be the first of its kind to be conducted over the Monitor site and surrounding area. With the REMUS being an un-tethered device, the vehicle has greater flexibility to maintain course speed and depth providing a more accurate track line.

This technology can be used for a wide range of military, academic, and commercial applications. The US Navy has embraced this technology for unmanned mine hunting in shallow water, and it was used extensively during the Iraqi war. It is also ideally suited for search missions and coastal surveys, such as this expedition. It is small enough to be carried by one person, yet contains enough complex sensors, navigation, and power resources to perform detailed sonar and oceanographic surveys over very large areas.

Remote Current Sensing Buoy

In March 2005, the Diamond Shoals data buoy was relocated to the waters within the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. In April 2009, the buoy was replaced with an updated 3-meter discus buoy that now includes an ADCP Doppler current meter. The current meter provides the speed and direction of the current impacting the Monitor from 20 feet to the sea bed in 13 feet increments. The buoy continuously provides valuable data, not only to the dive community, but to the sport fishing boats that also frequent this area of the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Check the buoy's current readings here.

Weather Forecast and Satellite Imagery

Weather may affect the success of this expedition and NOAA’s weather service will play a critical role in forecasting the daily events. In addition NOAA’s real time satellite and radar imagery will allow the team to make on the spot decisions about approaching weather systems. Check the expedition's forecast here.

To view current data on sea surface temperature of the Gulf Stream and satellite imagery for the sanctuary area, visit here.

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Revised June 16, 2009 by Sanctuaries Web Team | Contact Us | Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service
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