Current Research Projects

Autonomous Underwater Explorer:
Buoyancy controlled and acoustically tracked swarms of vehicles.

A multiview, multimodal acoustic and optical zooplankton sonar and optical imaging system.

An omnidirectional, high resolution, high speed, imaging system to record the radiometric light field in the open ocean

Oceanic Explorer Game:
A Flash-based game, created to introduce acoustic, visual, and chemical sensing concepts

A portable and multispectral dive camera, designed for rapid in situ fluorescence surveys of coral reefs at multiple emission wavelengths

Scripps Plankton Camera

Our latest underwater imaging system, the Scripps Plankton Camera, was deployed at the end of Scripps Pier on March 14 and has been running for more than a month now collecting over 4 million images. Click on the image below to visit the site:

Copepod Imaged by SPCCopepod Imaged by SPC

From the Site:

The Scripps Plankton Camera (SPC) was developed under a grant from the Beyster Foundation and in cooperation with the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS). The SPC is an underwater microscope with real-time image processing and object detection. It was designed to detect objects from tens of microns up to several centimeters. It employs darkfield illumination to enhance contrast of transparent objects. Data from the SPC are transfered in real-time to a webserver and database that support and interactive web tool for browsing images and exploring image statistics.

Dr. Jules Jaffe Interviews on CNN Regarding Missing Flight 370 and the Search for the Titanic

April 11, 2014
April 15, 2014
April 17, 2014
April 23, 2014

May 19, 2014

Ocean Sciences Meeting Comedy Session

Dr. Jules Jaffe and Dr. Peter Franks gave two very fun and entertaining talks at the OSM 2014 comedy session. Click the links below to watch the videos.

Jaffe: The 2000 Year Old CopepodFranks: Global Climate Change, the Demographic Albedo Effect

Holiday Greetings from the Jaffe Lab

Holiday Greetings from the Jaffe LabHoliday Greetings from the Jaffe Lab

Dr. Jaffe Receives Best Paper Award at Ocean Optics XXI Conference

Dr. Jaffe received the Best Paper award at the Ocean Optics XXI conference for his paper: Exploiting the Synergies of Underwater Optic and Acoustic Sensing of Animals:

Dr. Jaffe Best Paper Award at Ocean Optics XXIDr. Jaffe Best Paper Award at Ocean Optics XXI



First Deployment of Laser Imager Tow Sled

Last friday we successfully deployed our tow platform for our new laser imaging system. The sled performance was very good and we were able to tow it reliably very close to the bottom with great altitude-keeping performance. In the video below, there is a nice example of strong changes in water color and clarity as the sled decends from the surface down to 50 m. Towards the end of the video note the high abudance of jellies zipping by the sled as it moves through the water at 3.5 knots.

TowSled Deployment

Recording of a Whale Swimming by an Array of AUEs

While deploying 6 of our AUEs on a stereo recording rig at 16m depth, we happened to capture a whale swimming near the surface above the AUEs. Tristan Hiatt processed the acoustic data from the AUEs into a great stereo track and overlayed it on a video of the event recorded from the boat. Have a look and listen below, you'll see and hear the whale coming to the surface. It's best with headphones!


Measurement system for marine animal reflectance functions

The journal article "Measurement system for marine animal reflectance functions" by Justin M. Haag, Jules S. Jaffe, and Alison M. Sweeney has been recently published in Optics Express. This paper presents details of the optical instrument design and calibration for a new version of the OSMAR (optical scatterometer for measurement of angular reflectance) system that was described last year. Also included, are scattering patterns for squid and fish species that show interesting similarities in light scatter from two otherwise quite different animals. The physical explanations and potential ecological implications of the observed scattering from these species, as well as from others not yet presented, is a subject of future work.

Benthic Microscope Image of Coral Fluorescence

Below is a fluorescence image from our scanning benthic microscope prototype showing GFP and Chlorophyll fluorescence from coral polyps over a large depth of field.

Coral Fluorescence Imaged With Benthic Microscope: field of view 3 mm (h) x 1.5 mm (v)Coral Fluorescence Imaged With Benthic Microscope: field of view 3 mm (h) x 1.5 mm (v)

Successful Field Tests with Free-Drifting Mini-AUEs

On Monday we completed our first successful test with multiple, free-drifting Mini-AUEs. This is a major milestone for the project as it marks the first time that the vehicles have been deployed and recovered in the field un-tethered. It is also the first time that multiple units have been deployed together. We released two units programmed to hold roughly a 6m depth while drifting for one hour off Torrey Pines Beach. We did three consecutive 1-hour deployments and all of the critical functions of the vehicles worked perfectly every time. Below are a few photos from the deployment and a example of preliminary data.






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