ISIS2 Towed System

ISIS05The Instrumented Seafloor Imaging System (ISIS2) was developed as an exploratory tool and  “smart” camera sled to collect high resolution seafloor imagery (video and digital still) in steep topographic settings (e.g., where corals occur in the northern Gulf of Maine and along canyon walls).  The 1000 meter system is operated via an electro-optic cable to support high definition and standard definition video cameras, movable lights on pan-tilt units, a digital still camera with electronic flash, sector scanning sonar, and altimeter.  Space for CTD and other sensors have been included within the framework  and telemetry and power can be accommodated via a pressure balanced oil filled junction box.  The operational objective is a “flyable” vehicle providing the pilot with real-time imagery with which to control the depth off bottom via a winch (z-axis movement) in combination with dynamic positioning of the surface support vessel (x & y axis movement along the seafloor) to conduct near bottom transects in precipitous topography.  The vehicle-winch configuration allows rapid launch and retrieval to occupy more stations per unit time than could be achieved with a two vehicle ROV-depressor-winch configuration that requires greater  launch/recovery  time at the surface.   The ISIS2 sacrifices significant  maneuverability and station-keeping and the ability to collect physical samples for the capability to occupy many stations.