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Harbor Branch
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
5600 US 1 North, Fort Pierce, FL 34946
NOAA, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, Open Water Media, Cracker Tales, National Geographic, Discovery, History Channel, NHK, the BBC, ABC (Australia), and others.

Testimonials - Harbor Branch

Harbor Branch
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute became an oceanographic research institute within Florida Atlantic University in 2007. The institution was founded in 1971 by J. Seward Johnson Sr., who along with famed inventor Edwin A. Link strove to put scientists in, on and under the sea. Today Harbor Branch's mission is articulated as "Ocean Science for a Better World". Over 140 scientists, engineers, technicians and support staff pursue leadership in ocean-related innovation, exploration, research, education and conservation.

Letter From Harbor Branch:
Between November 13th and December 10th, 2008, the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute research vessel Seward Johnson added 'ocean-going HD production facility' to its list of credentials.

During a mission to conduct sea trials on a pair of REMUS 6000 Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV's) and then use them to collect side-scan and multi-beam sonar images of deep coral reefs off the east coast of Florida, a mobile production facility was set up in one of the ship's labs to facilitate documentation of the mission, and production of a number of products for news media and education consumption prior to returning to shore.

A new CalDigit HDOne 6TB RAID was acquired to be the primary storage device for all footage shot in DVCProHD 720 60i and 720 24PN. Connected to an Apple MacBook Pro with 2.6GHz processor and 4GB RAM running Final Cut Studio, the HDOne performed flawlessly, ingesting hours of footage without a single error.

The portability and simple setup of the HDOne was much appreciated in getting the system set up on the 204' ship in the first place, and then moving the system to a different location on the ship to accommodate other personnel.

During the mission, the ship and crew weathered out a full gale and seas reaching 16'. Even though all components were secured to the lab bench by bungee cords and/or wood screws, I was thankful for the latches that keep the cable plugged securely into the HDOne and the PCIe card. If only a similar latch system could be used to keep the PCIe card secured to the computer. A disconnect there was the only mishap, and did not occur during RAID activity but required a simple reboot to get back online anyway.

The cruise turned out to be a success, with the new AUV's successfully trialed to 5400 meters (approximately 16,000 feet). During the reef exploration mission, 3 new formations of the deep coral Lophelia pertusa were discovered at depths around 700 meters (2,200 feet). Video documentation will play a valuable role in helping to have these fragile reefs protected by law as HAPC's and MPA's (Habitat Areas of Particular Concern and Marine Protected Areas). I am very happy to have the HDOne as an important component of my edit system to help accomplish that objective.

I am a new user of CalDigit products and still on the early part of the curve learning to use the many capabilities in Final Cut Studio, so the availability of customer support is a hefty consideration when investing in new technology, especially when considering the rigors of use in unconventional environments. CalDigit's tech support was able to help me out with an IP problem I encountered after finally plugging the MacBook Pro into the research vessel's network. Four hundred miles offshore, I was directed through the corrective steps to get back up and running. Satellite phone facilitated the process, but it's great to know there are real professionals standing behind their products, ready to help in any situation.

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