SPC NOAA Fisheries

2016-05-19 15.44.54

Project Overview:

A modified version of the SPC was commissioned by Eric Danner from the NOAA South West Fisheries Science Center to be used to study the invertebrate populations in the Sacramento river and estuary near San Francisco Bay. It is hypothesized that the ability of the salmon populations in the river to withstand changes in their climate such as fluctuations in the release water temperature is highly influenced by available food. This camera system will help quantify the abundance of these food sources and hopefully lead to a synoptic monitoring program through the river and estuary ecosystem.

General Information:

The system is built around a 0.137x telecentric objective made by Opto-Engineering. Large pressure housings with massive sapphire optical ports were used to achieve a field of view with over 100 mm diagonal and a working field depth of nearly 140 mm (for objects > 1 mm). The latest ODROID 8-core ARM CPU and 12 MP USB camera were used to give up to 7 fps with roi detection in real-time. In addition to the free-space imaging setup the is typically used with the SPC cameras, a custom flow chamber was designed to mount directly inside the space between the camera and strobe housing and allow pumps, nets, or other collection devices to be used to input water samples through the imaging system. This feature is especially useful in the river setting as many of the target species live on the water surface and need to be routed through the imaging system.


  • Principal Investigators: Jules S. Jaffe, Eric Danner (SWFSC), Mark Henderson (USGS)
  • Principal Engineers: Paul L. D. Roberts
  • Mechanical Engineers: Devin Ratelle
  • Graduate Students: Eric Orenstein