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 new TOAD sled body used for the 2004 data collection is constructed from a shortened Phantom ROV body with a tail piece added for stability. It is equipped with a Deep Sea Power and Light Multi SeaCam 2060 color video camera, two 500 W DeepSea Power and Light Multi-SeaLite model 1050 underwater lights, a sonar altimeter to detect the height of the camera above the seafloor, a pair of parallel lasers to determine the size/scale of viewed objects, a compass to determine the sled heading and orientation, and a depth (pressure) sensor. The video signal from the sled is send via a coaxial conductor within a 200 m long and 127 mm diameter umbilical cable to a topside control unit.
Name & address of person collecting data: Scott Ferguson NOAA PIFSC 1125B Ala Moana Blvd Honolulu, HI 98614
Data Files: Video data were recorded to digital video cassette using a video recorder mounted in the control console. Video backups were made at the end of each day. Hypack Max (version 2.12A) hydrographic survey software was used to record GPS data, water depth, length of umbilical cable in the water, and camera sled information (height, heading, etc.), which provide ship and camera sled positions for the duration of individual tows.
File naming convention: Each tow is given a name consisting of a three-letter designator for the island area, followed by a two-digit year and a three-digit tow number, which increments by one for each new tow around that island. For example, during OES0402 (NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette's 2nd cruise in calendar year 2004) the consecutive tows at Tutuila started at TUT04000. For subsequent cruises in the same year, the tow numbers will increment by 100, so the first tow on the next cruise to Tutuila in 2004 will be tow number TUT04100. Video tape labels and paper log forms are also annotated with the tow name; if more than one tape is required for a tow, consecutive letters are added to the end of the tow number (TUT04100a, TUT04100b, TUT04100c...). Navigation files generated by Hypack Max follow the Hypack CHS filename format consisting of the year, the first two letters of the platform name, the Julian date, and the hour and minute in which the file was started, followed by the extension .raw. For example, a file begun at 1935 on Dec. 10, 2004 (Julian date 345) aboard the Carolinian would be 2004CA3451935.raw.
Time Correlation: All clocks were synchronized to UTC at the beginning of each day's operations. Two clocks were manually synchronized to GPS-derived times: the acquisition computer clock and the internal clock of the OSD-79 on-screen display unit.
Resource Description: Digital video imagery that is geo-referenced to navigation files.
List of navigation files: The shapefiles showing camera sled tracks listed below consist of a collection of files with the names listed below, followed by these extensions: .dbf, .shp, .shx, and .prj. All file types are necessary to properly displaying the source data. TAU06011-015 (5 files)