The ROV and Cameras
When the Exosuit is deployed on its first scientific research project during the July 2014 Barlow Bluewater Expedition, scientists will focus on the discovery of bioluminescent fishes and invertebrates, especially their behavior and potential medical applications.
To study those organisms, researchers will use the Exosuit together with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), seen above, that will carry specialized photography equipment. Recently developed with National Science Foundation support, this DeepReef-ROV is designed specifically to study bioluminescence and biofluorescence by taking high-resolution images of marine animals in their natural habitat with cameras customized for underwater low-light conditions, which will be instantly beamed up to the surface via fiber optics.
The Barlow Bluewater Expedition will be the first effort to directly study deep-water habitats off New England using robotics together with a human diver in an atmospheric diving suit. The unmanned ROV will provide sophisticated underwater imaging capabilities, while the Exosuit pilot will bring human eyes and dexterity to the scene.
The goal: to record luminescent flashing patterns from a variety of mid-water organisms and to identify new bioluminescent molecules.