An underwater exploration toolkit for boats

Assembling a set of tools to explore the aquatic environment from a small boat:
Macro and micro biology, treasures, benthic topography, & hull inspection

One of the strongest motivations behind the Datawake project is to extend my human sensorium, letting me see into otherwise invisible realms. This takes many forms: data collection systems fed by environmental sensors, embedded probes that report conditions I would never otherwise detect, optics for long-range peering, scanners and software-defined radios for keeping my ear to the ground, infrared camera for seeing in the thermal domain, and a whole toolset for exploring the aquatic realm atop which I float. For a quarter century I have been building, cruising, and living aboard boats… yet have never really had much of a sense of what is down there until now.

When I began the Microship project in 1993 I was inspired by the oceanographic community, and hung out whenever possible with friends at Scripps and MBARI. I always knew I’d have a sensor sonde, meteorological probes, underwater camera, and hydrophone… but the holy grail of an ROV (Remote-Operated Vehicle) was clearly just a fantasy, with daunting size and cost. But a lot has changed since those days, and Datawake now has a nice little marine-biology and undersea exploration lab (and not just for ogling the critters… we can also inspect ground tackle, check running gear for fouling, and recover dropped tools).

Read the full post on Nomadness.

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