SeeStar: Inexpensive, Open-Source Camera System for Underwater Monitoring

Scientists and engineers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have developed SeeStar - a modular, lightweight, low-cost subsea imaging system for mid- to long-term monitoring of marine ecosystems. SeeStar is composed of separate camera, battery, and LED lighting modules, each rated to 300 meters depth. The system can be deployed in a variety of scenarios utilizing stills and video, and can be operated either autonomously or tethered on a range of platforms, including ROVs, AUVs, landers, piers, and moorings. Future goals for the project include making it affordable for individual production and making parts easier to order online. Even though it is still in development, SeeStar is already letting marine researchers see things underwater that they've never seen before.