Marine engineers develop a new drop frame and camera system
Marine Scotland Engineering staff have a history of building bespoke kit for scientists over a number of years. Most recently they have been working on the research vessel Alba na Mara to develop a new drop frame and stereo image system to increase our benthic monitoring capabilities. This system is used by both Marine Scotland scientists and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) in order to meet objectives relating to the monitoring of Scotland’s Marine Protected Area network.
Development of the new drop frame and camera systems has made significant improvements, allowing much faster changeover between frames, and the acquisition of a huge amount of data. Over 2,500 still images were produced during the trial, with a higher download speed camera essential to enable the images to be backed up. The video camera produced good standard images and again, backup was a key issue, with large HD files in the region of 50 GB per day. Having a member of staff on board the vessel during the trials allowed modifications and improvements to be made immediately, maximising the information gained from the trial.