Catlin Seaview Survey generates groundbreaking new technology
15 August 2012
by Chip Cunliffe
The Catlin Seaview Survey is leading the way in underwater gadgetry, pioneering technologies that did not exist just 12 months ago.
Since work began on preparations for the first expedition, the Survey team has developed three groundbreaking pieces of equipment: a new camera system, underwater tablet technology and software to stitch the images together to create 360° panoramas.
Shallow reef camera
The exploration team will use a specially designed underwater camera made up of three SLRs with extreme fisheye lenses that are designed to fire simultaneously. All three cameras are completely encased in custom made underwater housing and are operated remotely using a tablet mounted to the underwater scooter.
As touch-screens don’t usually work when under pressure and of course there is no internet connection 5m under the surface of the ocean, the team built a special housing and aerial that allows the tablet to be used with full functionality at depth. The tablets allow the divers to operate the cameras remotely as well as to communicate with the boat.
360° panorama software
Once the team has generated the images using the camera we need to put it all together to create the underwater experience. Using the specially designed software, the images taken by the underwater camera will be stitched together to produce fantastic 360° panoramas which can be explored online.
Once the survey has launched in September, all imagery can be explored on the Catlinseaviewsurvey.com website.