Date

6-2017

Degree Name

BS in Electrical Engineering

Department

Electrical Engineering Department

Advisor

Bridget Benson

Abstract

SeeStar is an autonomous, underwater camera system for observing aquatic environments. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) developed SeeStar to provide a low cost solution for marine researchers wishing to observe underwater ecosystems over long durations. The system consists of completely open-source designs featuring only common, commercially available components. This means users may purchase the components and build the system themselves. While MBARI originally intended for the system to simply capture photo and video data, many customers have requested additional sensors to gather contextual data to complement the captured images. The latest generation, SeeStar III, features a sensor module, enabling users to easily integrate sensors into the system.

This project phase encompasses sensor module firmware design and testing. The primary design challenge is creating a general interface so users may integrate additional sensors without modifying the system’s firmware for each new sensor. This preserves the system’s ease-of-use. The secondary design challenge is maximizing power efficiency such that long term untethered deployments are possible.

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