Posted by on November 05, 2006 at 11:52:29:|
- Sonar imagers measure the heat output of "black smokers," hydrothermal vents that can reach 700 degrees.
- Hi-def cameras send images to the surface during volcanic eruptions.
- Seafloor rovers take samples and reposition instruments.
- Seismometers and strain meters continuously monitor tectonic plate movement.
- Incubators in holes about a mile deep collect data on microbes.
- A single cable supplies up to 100 kW of power and a 10-Gbyte-per-second Internet connection.
- The central control system regulates lights and other instruments.
- A self-propelled lab collects gases from black smokers to learn what the microorganisms that live inside them feed on.
- Sensors along the cable to the surface check temperature, nutrients, and the movement of sea creatures.
- Robots recharge power supplies, download data, collect samples, and take photographs.