It’s fun to watch big projects come together. One of the benefits of getting older, I guess. I’ve been watching this undersea laboratory concept evolve for years now, so it’s cool to see the pieces – namely the fiberoptic cable that will supply the lab’s power and internet connections – fitting into place. Instruments in this lab will track fish migration, ocean acidification, weather trends and dissolved oxygen like never before.
And if it makes me feel older to think about the days when this project was just a concept, imagine how University of Washington oceanography professor John Delaney must feel. He’s been dreaming about this lab for 20 years (which makes for a mighty Ted talk)!
This week, a research ship is streaming live video of the aftermath of an undersea volcano that erupted this spring 300 miles off the coast of Astoria. In a couple years, submersible robots in the Pacific’s new undersea lab will be able to stream such scenes to anyone anywhere 24/7 through the Internet.
“This is big deal. Suddenly the ocean is going to be accessible to people. We can’t take them all out there deep in the ocean, but we can bring the ocean to them.”