Telepresence technology enables real-time participation in ocean exploration expeditions from shore. EV Nautilus is equipped with a satellite dish that allows us to send data and video back to our “mission control” at the Inner Space Center in real-time while our Corps of Exploration is investigating the seafloor. The application of telepresence technology for ship-based work is extremely efficient as it permits unlimited access to personnel on shore, transcending schedules, expertise, skills, and abilities of traditional shipboard teams.
Telepresence also enables the development of partnerships between geographically dispersed groups who otherwise might not have the opportunity to collaborate due to cost or logistics, and ultimately allows for the most efficient use of all resources, as access to data and information between ship and shore is immediate and sustained for the duration of an expedition. It also allows our Corps of Exploration aboard Nautilus to confer with our “Doctors on Call” – Ph.D. scientists on shore who specialize in the areas our team at sea is exploring.
Our suite of Exploration Centers includes Exploration Command Centers (ECCs), Exploration Learning Centers (ELCs), and Ocean Exploration Centers (OECs). These Exploration Centers are installations at educational, scientific and academic institutions that stream high-bandwidth video, audio, and data. This Exploration Now network allows scientists, engineers, and students to participate in expeditions in the field in real time.
Exploration Centers are modeled after the ship’s Command Center and the Inner Space Center and can accommodate any audience size, location, and educational or research focus.
Ocean Exploration Centers (OECs) are geared toward large, high-traffic audiences at museums, aquariums, and science centers, such as at the Ocean Exploration Center in Mystic Aquarium’s Nautilus Live Theater.
Exploration Learning Centers (ELCs) are smaller, more intimate installations for schools and after-school programs, such as the Boys & Girls Clubs.
Exploration Command Centers (ECCs) are located at universities and research institutions world-wide, and allow for shore-based scientific participation in oceanographic expeditions, as well as undergraduate and graduate education, such as the ECC at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory.
Nautilus Live Theater
The Nautilus Live Theater is our premier Ocean Exploration Center (OEC) venue. This state-of-the-art theater space is located at the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut. Aquarium visitors can learn about EV Nautilus and other live expeditions by virtually joining Dr. Robert Ballard’s Corps of Exploration aboard Nautilus through live video feeds and interactions. The Nautilus Live Theater is located in the Ocean Exploration Center at Mystic Aquarium, home of the Titanic - 12,450 Feet Below exhibit.
During our 2013 Nautilus Exploration Program expedition season, the Nautilus Live Theater hosts multiple daily theater shows that include an expedition presenter guiding audiences through recent dive highlights, expedition maps, current live video feeds and live interactions with the Corps of Exploration aboard Nautilus and other vessels.
Inner Space Center
The Inner Space Center (ISC) at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography serves as the shore-based telepresence hub or “mission control” for multiple ships of exploration, including E/V Nautilus. The ISC facility is connected to Internet2, which permits high bandwidth streams of video, audio, and data to flow from the ship to shore where it is captured, displayed and disseminated in real time. The Inner Space Center also hosts teams of scientists and engineers at the facility during operations, so they can communicate with their counterparts at sea and monitor the expedition in real time.
Exploration Now Production Studio
The Exploration Now production studio at the Center for Ocean Exploration at the University of Rhode Island serves as the brick-and-mortar home of Exploration Now. The Exploration Now studio is the interactive hub of our live broadcasts and ensures that our explorers in the field connect every day with audiences around the world at science centers, aquariums and museums. Our Exploration Now production team also produces daily news updates, provides the latest information on new discoveries and events, and creates highlight videos of recent exciting dives. When our explorers are not actively in the field, the Exploration Now broadcast studio hosts explorers on shore for live interactions, including scientists, engineers and educators who have sailed aboard Nautilus and other research vessels.