Welcome to Inner Space
The Inner Space Center at University of Rhode Island, that is. For this expedition at the Mid-Cayman Rise, most of the science team is stationed here in Rhode Island for the first time. It’s a great place to be even though it’s raining and a little dreary today.
The room that we’re spending the most time in is more or less a classroom that is set up as an Exploration Command Center. There is a console with three video screens to view all of the video feeds streaming from the ship, and an Internet-enabled intercom system that allows us to communicate directly with ROV operators and scientists on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer and other Exploration Command Centers. Within the classroom itself, there are also two integrated projectors to display the live streams in larger-than-life fashion. But the coolest part is downstairs in the Inner Space Center itself where not only can you see all three video feeds from Okeanos Explorer, but simultaneously also view live streaming video from E/V Nautilus—the Ocean Exploration Trust’s ship that is conducting ROV operations and searching for ancient shipwrecks in the Black Sea, halfway around the world.
The vision of using satellites and high bandwidth Internet connections to bring data and images from the bottom of the ocean to shore in real time—a concept called telepresence—was conceived more than 25 years ago by Dr. Robert Ballard. The application of this incredible technology to operate between ships at sea and shore-based centers was developed over many years through partnerships between NOAA, the University of Rhode Island, and the Institute for Exploration. The Inner Space Center is the technical hub for all of the audio and video that you’re receiving from the ships. Which is helpful for us here if there are any problems!
This is also the first time that the team at the Inner Space Center has had to support both ships diving at the same time, so we’re keeping them busy! But if all continues to go well, you too can participate in the dives by:
Watching video from NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/media/exstream/exstream.html
Watching video from E/V Nautilus: http://nautiluslive.org/
Ask an Explorer! Send in your questions for Mid-Cayman Rise scientists: http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/explorations/ex1104/logs/ask/ask.html
Follow NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration on social media: http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov
Sign up for the Ocean Explorer E-mail Update List.