Yesterday marked the start of my eighth year as a volunteer diver for Maritime Heritage Minnesota, a non-profit involved with the research, exploration, and documentation of Minnesota’s underwater resources.
We spent the day yesterday on Lake Minnetonka diving on three different “anomalies” that were discovered during MHM’s side scan sonar study. The first anomaly proved to be elusive and after two dives, we didn’t find anything. So we moved over to anomaly two and found a small fiberglass runabout (1970’s vintage). The third site we dove on looked promising on the sonar, but turned out to be a very long log sitting next to a metal trailer frame.
Always interesting and always a lot of fun.
In a follow up to their landmark series, the BBC has begun filming “Blue Planet 2” in conjunction with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI). Together, they are using deep water manned submersibles to produce spectacular underwater footage for this project.
WHOI has been using Applied Logic Engineering’s controllers and software for years to provide remote control of their underwater camera systems. Our controllers and software allow the camera operator inside the submersible the ability to control functionality of the cameras mounted outside the sub. For this project, we added some new capability for the operator located in the submersible — specifically, WHOI’s operators wanted to access a wide range of camera functionality using a video-game style controller versus using the standard PC keyboard.
“As you may be able to guess, opening up and using the laptops in the small subs has become a big issue and we are trying to find access to the things we need without using the laptop”, commented Evan Kovacs, a member of WHOI’s Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory. With this request in mind, Applied Logic created a software interface that utilizes a Microsoft Xbox controller in conjunction with our Deluxe LANC Control software running on the laptop. Now the operator can plug the Xbox controller into the laptop, allowing the laptop to be closed and set in a convenient position inside the submersible while the operator uses the controller for filming.
“This is a great example of how we can adapt our technology to suit a particular customer’s needs” remarked Kelly Nehowig, President and CTO of ALE. “Working together with WHOI, we developed this solution quickly to allow for implementation in their submersibles for their next shoot with the BBC in June. We’re thrilled to be able to support WHOI on their various projects and we’re pleased that our controllers and software provide solutions for them in this very challenging underwater environment”.