Unlocking the sustainability secrets of the deep ocean

  • Friday, January 20, 2023

Phantom cameras help researchers study gelatinous sea creatures to support new advances in carbon reduction.

The Background

Looking to the oceans to solve Earth's challenges

Scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) Bioinspiration Lab develop new technologies to explore and understand the mysteries of the deep sea. Using lasers and high- speed cameras to study the biomechanics and fluid dynamics of midwater animals during feeding and swimming, the team explores innovative developments in bio-inspired engineering that could also help solve climate challenges on the surface.

An innovative approach to high-speed cameras

AMETEK Vision Research's renowned Phantom digital high-speed cameras allow researchers to see more than they ever have before, leading to new understandings in a range of scientific endeavors. Significant scientific insights are generated through cameras that offer the highest image resolutions and frame rates possible, an advantage maintained by Phantom’s constant advancements in camera power and robust software processing.

The Challenge

Solving the midwater mysteries

As midwater organisms are mostly made of water, it has been a challenge for researchers to visualize, draw or photograph the animals, or understand their biomechanics and fluid dynamics. The project required expanding traditional particle image velocimetry (PIV) techniques to illuminate and record suspended particles moving in seawater, with the resulting image stacks able to generate 3D reconstructions of the animals. The Phantom VEO 640 camera enabled scientists to scan a tank of ocean water much faster than the standard cameras used on undersea research vehicles, and the rapid 1400 frames-per-second speed – at 4-megapixel resolution – produced visual data otherwise impossible to obtain.


The Solution

A high-speed window into the marine world

The 3D reconstructions enabled the team to understand what the animals look like, and how they move and feed. This data can be applied to other animals, streamlining new species discovery and taxonomy. The lab’s research also has implications for the development of bio- inspired technologies, with the unique biomechanics informing the design of new, more efficient underwater technologies. And with one focus being the ecology of giant larvaceans - transparent planktonic animals living in midwater - their capacity to filter food and carbon particles is providing essential data for motion analysis that could support the long-term removal of atmospheric carbon. Discover more at phantomhighspeed.com 

Friday, May 12, 2023

Tackling food insecurity in Connecticut

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Enabling arts education for all

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

AMETEK Gatan provides the camera technology leading the way in developing effective virus treatments

Monday, April 3, 2023

A next-generation aircraft engine heat exchanger will cut 1,000,000 tons of carbon emissions over a decade


Interested in joining our team? Click here for more.

Interested in joining our team? Click here for more.

We believe a diverse workforce and inclusive environment are critical to AMETEK’s success.


Want to learn more about our businesses? Click here.

Want to learn more about our businesses? Click here.

Our businesses serve a diverse set of niche markets and applications.