Experiment payload

CTD, TDO, Fluorometer-Turbidity sensor, 4 x NTSC cameras, 3 x 35 Watt HID lamps, Visual Plankton Recorder*, High definition TV camera*, Digital still camera*, 400 watt HID lamp*.

* pick only one device

Table 6. Specifications of PICASSO-1

Table 6. Specifications of PICASSO-1

One of the purposes for development of the system is to track plankton. A typical swimming velocity for plankton is slow, a few hundred meters per hour (Matsumoto 1991), and its direction of swimming is random. PICASSO-1, therefore; has two lateral thrusters with a 180 degree tilter and a vertical thruster for highly maneuverable cruising and its maximum cruising speed is set to 2 knots. For smaller to larger animal observations, PICASSO-1 is able to select as its main imaging tool from among three choices: an HDTV camera, a 12 bit high resolution camera, and an underwater "microscope" called the color Visual Plankton Recorder (VPR).

b. The sea trial of PICASSO-1 in February-March 2007

A sea trial was carried out in 24 February - 4 March in Sagami Bay and Suruga Bay using the support vessel, Natsushima. Seven dives were made. In two dives, the VPR was installed on PICASSO-1 (Figure 14). The vehicle dived to a maximum depth of 601 meters. All function tests were performed well. The images obtained by the HDTV camera were of extremely high quality and several animals were observed. Meso zoo plankton were observed by the VPR (Figure 15). This first sea trial of PICASSO-1 was successfully finished. Up to the present date PICASSO-1 has made 25 dives, including dives using a small support ship (Yoshida 2008).

Fig. 14. PICASSO-1 with the Visual Plankton Recorder being recovered.
Fig. 15. An undescribed species of Bathyctenid comb jelly and a Gnathophausid mysid shrimp obtained by the Visual Plankton Recorder installed in PICASSO-1.

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