SeaPump has developed the SWIPS particle camera to be a part of the underwater SWIPS winch system. The SWIPS camera is designed for automonous profiling of aggregate abundance and size-distribution during long-term deployments. The SWIPS winch system and SWIPS camera are designed to make vertical profiles of the upper ~300 m of the water column every third day throughout a full annual cycle.
SWIPS camera mounted on the profiler of the SWIPS winch system (left image) and a technical drawing of the SWIPS camera housing and the light source housing (right image).
When the underwater winch system initiating a vertical profile, the SWIPS camera is powered up and acting as a slave of the SWIPS profiler. With different commands the SWIPS profiler request a new image and process the previous image by identifying all aggregates and their sizes. In this way, the SWIPS camera performs image analysis for particle detection and particle property determination in parallel to image acquisition. Further processes are responsible for housekeeping and logging system information. The raw- and processed-data is saved on the SWIPS camera. Additionally, the processes vertical aggregate abundance and size-distribution data is sent via serial interface to the SWIPS profiler and, after each cast, from profiler to the winch electronics. This is a safety feature in case of profiler loss, which is a likely scenario is polar regions with iceberg and in regions with heavy ship traffic.