The broadcast event was part of the BICOSE (Biodiversity, Interactions, Connectivity and Symbiosis in Extreme Environments) scientific mission, which took place from 10th January to 11th February 2014.
The mission focused on the study of hydrothermal vents in the mid-Atlantic. Also known as black smokers, these mini submarine volcanoes spit out hot water up to 400 degrees.
Night of the Abyss linked 'Pourquoi pas?' with two sites in France (Paris and Brest) via its Ku-band VSAT system. It began with a presentation of the BICOSE campaign and technical capabilities, and an introduction of the scientific team on-board.
This was followed by a 20-minute commentary broadcast from the Victor 6000 Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV), where the audience discovered the TAG hydrothermal site at a depth of 3,500m. The event concluded with a 40-minute interactive question and answer session.
“We needed sufficient bandwidth and reliability to ensure high-quality live video and audio for the duration of the event, so we asked Marlink if it was possible to temporarily upgrade our link just for this,” said Olivier Soubigou, Research Vessels and Embarked Equipment unit, Ifremer.
“Sealink is a flexible service so Marlink was able to provide us with live streaming and two way conferencing capabilities so we could really engage with audiences in Paris and Brest.”
The Night of the Abyss video can be viewed on the BICOSE blog page (in French): http://wwz.ifremer.fr/webtv/Campagnes-a-la-mer/Bicose/La-nuit-des-abysses