Overview: Bioluminescence, chemically induced light, is found in many marine organisms and is often associated with movement in the water. Scientists study bioluminescence and how it is affected by other marine organisms, water temperature, depth, season, geographic location and time of day. Instruments used to make observations of the phenomena are often heavy, unwieldy photometers that are difficult to deploy and recover.
Technology: The Submersible Bioluminescence Detector is a compact, expendable bathyphotometer system that senses bioluminescence at the depth at which it occurs. Its design is significantly smaller, sturdier, and less expensive than traditional marine photometers. Optical signals are associated with the precise depth information from where they were taken by a micro-controller, and the resulting data stream is then transmitted to a surface computer via a thread-like wire designed to break after reaching the targeted deployment depth.