“Remote Viewing in Underwater Cities”

A Panel with John Delaney, Professor, School of Oceanography and Paros Endowed Chair for Sensor Networks, and Director and PI for the Regional Cabled Observatory of NSF’s OOI; and Doug Stanley, CEO and Co-Founder, Ridgeline Entertainment; on the construction of the world’s first undersea broadband and power-supplied permanent remote sensing network; hosted by Michael Pfeffer, Managing Partner, Kolohala Ventures

MP: We, as a species, love the ocean. The problem is that it’s transitory. Very difficult for us as a species to really get ahold of. We know almost nothing about the ocean and it covers more than 70% of the earth’s surface. Doug is able to bring an emotional experience to this project.

JD: When we study the sea it’s with our soul as well as our minds and heart. Ocean Neruda wrote about is not the same. It’s changing rapidly and unpredictably. Very sophisticated models, but almost no data. We will be present as citizens of the ocean through the internet. It’s a phenomenal education project. The ocean is the life support system for the entire planet. We understand small pieces of it, but not the whole and its processes.

National Science Foundation – building system that will allow people to have an observatory within the ocean for a long time. Upper part of ocean’s processes are driven by the sun. Lower part is driven by the heat of the earth’s core. Ocean is directly linked to growth of food on the continents. Atmosphere is a zephyr-like messenger between us and the surface of the ocean.

Station off the west coast has fiberoptical cables, which transmit a terabyte of data at one time. Power from the environment, digital imaging, ecogenomics, nanotechnology are all a part of the station. Within the year, there will be live transmission from the ocean floor. Cables are being laid this year, next year ocean floor substations will be installed, followed by connectivity by 2014.

DS: Will be my life’s work to tell the stories of Johns project and the ocean to the world. Will use broadband, stereoscopic energy, data to relate ocean and its processes to all life on earth. Idea will be to tell stories of earth’s inhabitants and processes and how they’re affected by the ocean. Entire project has a technological background, but the challenge will be in staying true to science while engaging audiences. Creating heroes for kids.

Very big challenge to tell a very engaging story in a scientific way.

JD: Because the ocean is opaque, we can’t map it comprehensively. Therefore we know less about the ocean’s bottom than we do about the moon’s behind.

DS: Stereoscopic imaging is like true human sight. We’ll be able to identify not just the organelles in a jellyfish, but their positioning.

JD: High chance that an underwater eruption will take place in the next decade, while were there. Currently rising at 15 cm/year.