Live Dive from the Frank A. Palmer
Saturday 15 July 2006, the sanctuary and the National Undersea
Research Center at the University of Connecticut (NURC-UConn)
conducted two 30 minute live broadcasts from the shipwreck
of the coal schooner Frank A. Palmer. Viewers at the
Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center in Gloucester, MA, the
Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center in Alpena, MI and over
the World Wide Web watched live underwater video and asked
the research team questions as they investigated the wreck.
1000 people watched the broadcast, which was supported by NURC-UConn,
the University of Connecticut, Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center,
the City of Gloucester, NOAA's Preserve America Initiative, NOAA's
Maritime Heritage Program, NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program,
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, and
Connecticut outfitted with wireless
radios and an antenna for
the live broadcast.
NURC-UConn ROV carried an underwater video camera that transmitted
video back to the research vessel Connecticut, operated
by the University of Connecticut. Onboard the vessel the
video was then encoded and sent to an on board radio transmitter.
The transmitter then beamed the video signal more than 20
miles to a receiver on shore in Massachusetts, and from
there to a live audience in Gloucester, Massachusetts at
the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center and to an Internet
Services Provider, which then streamed the video in real
time over the web. In addition to video from the ROV, researchers
simultaneously displayed a multimedia PowerPoint presentation
to enrich the online viewing experience.
broadcast was part of a larger 7-day maritime heritage ROV cruise
which returned to shipwrecks like the steamship Portland
as well as investigating several new shipwrecks sites.
here to learn more about the 2006 Maritime Heritage ROV cruise
December 1902, the Frank A. Palmer and Louise B. Crary
collided in Massachusetts Bay and sank in over 300 feet of water.
Eleven sailors perished as a result of the event. Today, the schooners
sit upright on the seafloor touching at their bows in the same
orientation in which they came together.
project supports NOAA's research, scientific, and educational
missions in a number of ways. The live broadcast gathered data
to better understand, conserve, and manage the Frank A. Palmer
and Louise B. Crary and interpreted these maritime heritage
resources in a new and engaging manner. The sanctuary is meeting
its mandate from the National Marine Sanctuaries Act and the National
Historic Preservation Act to inventory, assess, protect, and interpret
its archaeological resources. The continued study and interpretation
of these resources will help scientists protect, restore, and
manage the compatible uses of the world's waterways. The heritage
resources have been a starting point for fostering increased interest
and recognition for all the sanctuary's resources.
maritime archaeologists Deborah Marx and Matthew Lawrence (left)
were joined by Ivar Babb (right), director of NURC-UConn, who
provided commentary on the technology that made the broadcast
possible and the marine life observed on the shipwreck. Additional
NURC-UConn project personnel behind the camera included IT technician
Kevin Joy, IT technician Mike McKee, and ROV pilot Craig Bussel.
NOAA Hollings scholar Freshteh Ahmadian-tehrani also joined the
cruise and provided ROV support.
100 viewers at the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center in Gloucester,
MA watched the live broadcast in near DVD quality video.
press release for the broadcast can be found at: News
Releases - Live Broadcast
press releases for the broadcast can be found at here
for the live broadcast included posstings on over 30 websites and
an Associates Press (AP) article "Shipwreck exploration Webcast
lets anyone take part." Additional articles included: Boston
Globe (cover of Saturday's City & Region section 15 July 2006)
"Robots to give Web users close look at shipwrecks -- Underwater
archeologists are searching Mass. Bay", Gloucester Daily
Times (cover story 14 July 2006) "Armchair adventurers can
ride along as robot sub explores historic wrecks", The Day
(New London 13 July 2006) "Research Vessel To Send Live Undersea
Broadcast of Wreck", Cape Cod Times (cover story 3 July 2006
) "Shipwrecks Live, Online", and Maine Costal News (15-30
June 2006) "Live Broadcast of Historic Shipwrecks from the
Stellwagen Bank 15 July".