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HabCam IV: NOAA/NMFS Stereo System

Video of HabCam IV AutoCAD diagram being rotated.
Video Credit: HabCam Group, Diagram by Jared Schwartz

There is a great need in fisheries science to develop and utilize new tools and technologies that could help improve the assessment and management of our national marine resources. Coupled with this is a major change in approach from single species to ecosystem based management (EBM). While the HabCam system (Habitat Characterization Camera System) was originally built to survey sea scallop populations, the potential to address EBM is currently a major goal.

HabCam IV will be used starting in the Summer of 2012 as part of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) annual sea scallop survey.

The vision is to provide NOAA with a tool that can more accurately survey commercially important benthic organisms such as sea scallops and some species of groundfish along with the development of a system capable of quantifying habitat, including species richness, diversity, substrate composition, and ecosystem change on a variety of temporal-spatial scales.

Stereo Imagery: Using 3 Dimensions

HabCam IV Stereo Cameras with lenses facing forward.

Two high resolution machine vision cameras are used to produce stereo image pairs. The stereo images will be used to make more accurate measurements of organisms and substrate and for viewers to see the seafloor in 3D. more on Stereo Imagery »

Accoustics: Seeing the seafloor with sound

881a Imagenix sidescan sonar image

HabCam IV will include a side scan acoustics system which allows for information on bathymetry and seafloor roughness to be obtained over a very wide area.

A side scan acoustics system allows for information on bathymetry and seafloor roughness to be obtained over a very wide area. This backscattered sound data(left) from the eastern side of Great South Channel shows strong relief as sandwaves up to several meters in height. It was taken with an 881a Imagenix sector scanning sonar in side scan mode mounted on the HabCam vehicle.
more on Accousitcs »

Sea Scallop Survey

Sea Scallop (Placopecten magellanicus)

The HabCam IV vehicle will be used to take images of sea scallops for the 2012 NOAA/NMFS sea scallop survey.

Project Updates

Karen Bolles and Engineer Glenn McDonnald inspect the new frame

View periodic updates » on design, construction, and research.

HabCam IV Technical Specifications:

The HabCam IV vehicle uses a variety of sensors. More info about sensors, the vehicle frame, and cameras coming soon...