Sony Plays Major Role in Oceanographic Sustainability Research
A huge proportion of the Earth’s oceans have still not been fully studied, due to the enormous depths involved. This means that we do not have a true understanding of the more inaccessible areas or the plant and animal species that inhabit them. Backed by UNESCO, the decade-long 1 OCEAN project is taking underwater exploration to places where it has never been before
Via the Lily remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that 1 OCEAN is employing, depths of 1000m can be explored. This ROV is equipped with a Sony ISS high-resolution Alpha 1 camera - which helps the operator with ROV navigation through the underwater environment, as well enabling imaging data of interesting phenomena to be captured. Through subsequently analysing the data acquired, more can be learnt about the ecosystems present there and how they may be better protected.
Lily has very small dimensions and weighs just 30kg. Its underwater exploratory missions last up to 16 hours. This ROV is contributing to ongoing UNESCO efforts to map 80% of the seabed by 2030 (whereas only 20% of it had been mapped before). Discussions started between the 1 OCEAN engineering team and Sony ISS in mid-2019, with initial camera samples being supplied soon after.
The 50.1MP Alpha 1 [MG1] delivers game-changing imaging performance. It supports 8K video streaming, has a wide dynamic range (so acute variations in light conditions can be addressed) and features a highly sophisticated autofocus system. The exceptional reliability of the camera unit is paramount in this application context, so that images can continue being taken during prolonged investigative missions.
The compactness of this imaging solution, despite all the functionality that it incorporates, was another reason why Alpha 1 was selected for deployment in the Lily ROV. It was vital that the chosen camera was suitable for fitting into a confined setting. The competing solutions that 1 OCEAN considered simply could not offer the combination of low-light capabilities, expansive feature set and space-saving form factor.
Once launched from the 1 OCEAN support vessel, each Lily mission sees the ROV descend down into the watery void. Fibre optic cabling is used for controlling the Alpha 1 camera and also bringing imaging data back to the surface, where the specialist scientific team can then examine it. The zoom and focus functions of the camera can be operated remotely, and all the settings adjusted too.
Find out more about the 1 OCEAN venture by going to: https://app.videas.fr/v/14dc6628-f963-486a-82d0-6f7654287230/