Optical validation data were collected using the Tethered Optical Assessment Device (TOAD), a sled equipped with underwater video camera and lights. These data are used to provide ground-truth validation for benthic habitat maps based on multibeam echosounder surveys. Camera sled deployments were conducted at night, usually between 1800 and midnight. The duration of each tow varied but averaged about 40 minutes of bottom time at a given location. The camera sled was deployed from the port J-frame mounted amidships on the NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette. At each station the ship was positioned with the wind on the port side and drifted downwind; occasional light turns were applied to the ship's screws if necessary to reduce the ship's motion. The TOAD was lowered slowly to the bottom by the deck crew using a capstan. The operator monitored a live video feed from the camera and began recording data on a video tape recorder. When the camera reached bottom the deck crew was notified by radio to stop lowering. The operator continued to monitor the vehicle and provided commands to raise or lower it to keep the camera just above the bottom.
Equipment Description: The TOAD was deployed from the lower arm of the vessel's port side J-frame. The TOAD is a camera sled based on the Guildline MiniBat model 8820 tow body. The frame has been extensively modified from its original configuration and was equipped with an ROS model 54-00100-13 color underwater video camera as the primary data collection instrument. The ROS camera was mounted to point at approximately a 45 degree angle toward the seafloor. A Deep Sea Power and Light model 2050 MultiSeaCam low-light color video camera was also mounted on the sled and aimed straight ahead. The signal from this camera was fed to a second video monitor to provide warning of underwater obstructions the sled might be headed for. Illumination was provided by two 500 W DeepSea Power & Light Multi-SeaLite model 1050 underwater lights mounted on the original sled frame. The lights were located near the base and each side of the sled to provide the maximum possible horizontal distance from the ROS camera. Cable between the sled and the surface consisted of a underwater electrical cable (cable 2, black in color) with an internal Kevlar strength member to support the sled frame. The cable was led from the camera sled over a 22-inch diameter sheave hung from the J-frame, and from there around a gypsy head mounted on the alternate CTD winch, amidships on the vessel's port side. All TOAD surface components were located in the Dry Lab in an equipment rack on the after bulkhead.
Name & address of person collecting data: John Rooney NOAA IRC NMFS/PIFSC/CRED 1845 WASP Blvd., Building 176 Honolulu, HI 96818
Data Files: Video data were recorded on two video tape recorders. The position of the camera sled was recorded using Guildline MiniBat In-Tow data acquisition software.
File naming convention: Each tow is given a name consisting of a 3-letter designator for the island area, "KUR" in this case followed by a five-digit tow number. The first two digits indicate the last two digits of the calendar year, i.e., "03" is used for this cruise, which took place in 2003. The last three numbers indicate the consecutive number of the tow for that island and year, and start on the next hundred for subsequent cruises in that year to the same island. During OES0306 the consecutive numbers started at 001. Video tape labels, the navigation files (*.glo) and paper log forms are all annotated with the tow name. Metadata were extracted from the navigation data and recorded to a file with the same name as the navigation file except that a file type of ".met" was appended; for example, "KUR03001.glo.met"
Time Correlation: All times are based on UTC. Two clocks were set manually synchronized prior to starting data collection; the clock in the video character generator that was used to annotate the video tape and the TOAD data acquisition computer clock was used to annotate the navigation (*.glo) files. These clocks were set to UTC at the beginning of each evening's operations and then compared to one another prior to (and during) each tow.
Resource Description: Digital video images geo-referenced to navigation files