CCOM’s Presentation Room is home to one of several telepresence consoles located across the US. The master console is located at the University of Rhode Island (the home port of the R/V Nautilus). Others can be found at the Mystic Aquarium/Institute for Exploration (IFE) in Mystic CT, NOAA Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD, the University of Washington, and at the Boys and Girls Club of Scottsdale, Arizona.
The purpose of these telepresence consoles is to conduct research remotely, collaborate with researchers who are unable to be on location, educate the public, and promote international collaboration. UNH has participated in over a dozen research missions using this technology since the system came online in 2005.
Two ships are currently equipped with this technology: the R/V Nautilus, operated by the University of Rhode Island, and the NOAA Vessel R337 Okeanos Explorer, "America's Ship for Exploration." 2011 marked the second year that both NOAA and URI have had two missions broadcast over satellite simultaneously.
The console comprises several powerful computers and a host of displays, which allow it to display high-resolution video and audio communication conducted over satellites and Internet2. All voice and video streams can be seen and heard in real-time. Voice over IP (VoIP) technology allows land-based crews to communicate with their counterparts at sea, and the video feeds can be broadcast in resolutions up to 1080p HD. Large amounts of research data can also be transmitted quickly and easily.
If you’re interested in seeing any of the action first hand, the R/V Nautilus has a website with a lower-res broadcast of their feeds, found at nautiluslive.org. The Okeanos's feed is available on the web during their research season at oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos.