Video Engineer

Video Engineers manage the video feeds from the remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) underwater and cameras around the ship. While exploring, high-definition video is the critical data deliverable to science teams allowing them to analyze the seafloor and review discoveries after the expedition. Video engineers make sure video streams meet rigorous quality standards and that video is accompanied with broadcast-quality audio. They also assist the ROV pilot by controlling the main camera’s zoom, focus, and iris. Although the Hercules pilots fly the ROV, the video engineer is the eyes of the operation.

Video engineers monitor the 23 cameras used in E/V Nautilus’ exploration model. There are 7 cameras on ROV Hercules, 5 cameras on ROV Argus, and 11 cameras around the ship. Cameras on the ship need to be cleaned regularly for salt spray and checked for corrosion or leaks in the domes. The cameras are: 

  1. Hercules main HD camera
  2. Hercules bubble camera - provides 3D perspective by looking downward onto ROV arms
  3. Hercules port camera - looking at Niskin bottles
  4. Hercules starboard camera - looks at the starboard bio box from the side
  5. Hercules starboard rail cam - looks down into starboard bio box
  6. Hercules butt camera - backward facing to monitor the tether
  7. Hercules bucket camera - view of the suction sampler holding jars above the light bar
  8. Argus Zeus HD camera
  9. Argus butt camera - backward facing to monitor the tether
  10. Argus gauge camera - monitoring system levels
  11. Argus down camera
  12. Argus forward camera - redundant view
  13. Nautilus aft camera - wide view of back deck
  14. Nautilus port camera - view of the back deck from ROV shop
  15. Nautilus ROV hanger camera - view of remotely operated vehicle garage
  16. Nautilus control van camera - view of the team on watch
  17. Nautilus wet lab camera - view of the sample processing space
  18. Nautilus wire camera - looks at the angle of the .68-cable over the stern
  19. Nautilus winch camera - view of the 68 tether drum paying out
  20. Nautilus studio camera - camera for education and outreach broadcasts to classrooms and museums around the world
  21. Nautilus high-voltage cabinet camera - view of high voltage supply gauges for ROVs
  22. Nautilus HPU camera- view of the hydraulic pressure unit gauges which move the ship’s A-frame
  23. Nautilus deck - a camera station which connects a broadcast camera for a roving camera on the back deck

Video engineers choose which cameras are broadcast during operations to meet science goals and to provide the best storytelling perspective for viewers on They also handle the intercom system to ensure different stations around the ship can communicate with each other inside the control van. A normal expedition sails with three video engineers including one Lead Video Engineer who oversees and trains the team. One video engineer on the team is often a Video Engineering and Filmmaking Intern, frequently experiencing their first expedition at sea.

Legacy image
Ed McNichol

Career Pathways

The Lead Video Engineer typically has many years of experience in broadcast video operations on and off of ships. Within the Corps of Exploration, video engineers have training, degrees, and certifications in many fields including wildlife camera operation, computer science, broadcast technology, satellite engineering, production, or graphic design. Many video engineers begin their work on Nautilus as a Video Engineering Intern in the Science & Engineering Internship Program as a community college, undergraduate, graduate student, or early career professional studying video production.