The high-definition video camera on the OOI Cabled Array system provides very high resolution views of black smoker fluids and coupled biologial activity at the Mushroom hydrothermal sulfide chimney within the ASHES hydrothermal field on the western side of the caldera at Axial Volcano.
The camera is associated with fluid samplers for follow-on chemical analyses of diffusely flowing fluids and with a novel temperaure (thermistor) array that provides 3D measurements of temperatures in diffusely flowing fluids. Fluids in the vent have been measured at over 260°C and the surrounding seawater is ~2°C. In concert, these instruments allow characterization of how fluid chemistry and temperature impact biological communities of tube worms, palm worms, limpets, and microbes, and how these communities evolve over time in response to volcanic and seismic events.
The camera is a SubC 1Cam high-definition video camera adapted for use on the OOI cabled network by Cabled Array engineers at the University of Washington's Applied Physics Laboratory. The camera is designed to transmit an uncompressed video stream in real time to shore at a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, 60 frames per second, interlaced. The shorthand notation for this mode is 1080i60. A new camera was installed in 2015 with the ROV ROPOS.