Photomegatron Maps Coral Reefs
Traditionally, marine scientists would gather data on corals by photographing and measuring a one square meter area or quadrat. That method gives consistent data on a coral area over time, but it’s also a very small area … so scientists are trying out new methods like this one. It’s affectionately called the PHOTOMEGATRON. It’s two Nikon SLR’s, mounted in a protective frame with lasers.
A researchers swims it over the reef as the cameras record coral cover. The images are assembled later to create a comprehensive map that includes larger coral formations that would be missed in the quadrat system.
Full description from the researchers using this system right now in the Phoenix Islands.