The VENUS Observatory opens a rare window into the undersea environment of a unique ocean ecosystem: Saanich Inlet, off the southeast coast of Vancouver Island. The observatory site here includes a wide range of sensors and instruments, including DISCO, or Digital Stills Camera system, that provides researchers with high-resolution 8 megapixel underwater images.
From the very beginning, the VENUS camera systems have been popular among biological oceanographers, allowing them to monitor and capture changes in the out-of-human reach environment. This interest in the subsea camera systems has led to a number of peer-reviewed publications.
Some of the researchers who have successfully used VENUS camera systems include Drs. Verena Tunnicliffe, Kim Juniper, Marjolaine Matabos, and Jacopo Aguzzi.
And for a fascinating look at how a DISCO time lapse captures an invasion of squat lobsters following a small phytoplankton bloom, see this related story: Dancin' on the Seafloor.