The ROV and camera sled will operate at depths that are devoid of sunlight, so dive lights will be necessary for the imaging research.
When a dive is underway, Stream 1 will be the LIVE view from the Little Hercules remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and Stream 2 will be the LIVE view from the the Seirios Camera Sled (showing the Little Hercules ROV). Stream 3 will typically show sonar displays, navigation displays, and mapping data collection displays. Stream 3 will typically show sonar displays, navigation displays, and mapping data collection displays.
The dive schedule is pretty consistent - the ROV is launched and in the water each day around 8:00 am CDT and brought back to the surface around 5:00 pm CDT. Depending on the depth of the dive, it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to more than three hours to get to the bottom (or surface), so sometimes all you will see is blue water when you first click the videos. If so, either it is early morning and the Little Herc is descending to bottom or it is afternoon and the ROV is ascending. Mapping operations occur when the ROV is not in the water and you can watch the seafloor being mapped in real time.
The expedition expects to explore cold seeps, deep coral communities, undersea canyons, shipwrecks – and perhaps even mud volcanoes and brine pools. In addition to the live video feeds, you can find more information on the Gulf of Mexico 2012 Expedition on the Ocean Explorer's website.
(Image Source: NOAA)