The Central California expedition, in partnership with Harvard University, focused on testing new equipment and exploring methane seep sites near Point Dume. The ABISS (Autonomous Biogeochemical instrument for In Situ Studies) lander was tested for the first time on this expedition. This is the beginning prototype for a wireless seafloor sampling tool which will be able to study microbial activity and geochemistry autonomously on the seafloor. ABISS will eventually include a full suite of sampling tools including a laser spectrometer, mass spectrometer, cameras, sediment traps, and perhaps even a manipulator arm.
A huge success for first deployment testing, the lander’s optical modem transmitted live video of ROV Hercules wirelessly underwater to ROV Hercules.