A core belief of our operations is the development of open-source technologies that contribute to scientific inquiry and the development of our understanding of the oceans. Open source technologies are revolutionising our ability to discover; as science becomes more accessible, the power to ignite change lies within all of us. Open source approaches to tackling environmental issues means embracing collaborative tools and workflows which enables processes and progress to be fully transparent. A critical aspect of working open is sharing data not only with your immediate team but with others across the world who can learn, adapt and contribute to collective research.



The AusOcean "rig" is a low-cost sea surface platform for supporting ocean science in coastal waters. The rig is a custom pontoon design in a light-weight modular construction. Rigs are designed for long term deployments with flexible support for multiple sensors.

Rig Complete Guide
Fluid-filled Pressure-compensating Underwater Camera (FPUC)

The AusOcean FPUC is a low-cost Internet Protocol (IP) digital video camera designed for continuous water immersion, tested to 20m(65’). Unlike most consumer video cameras, the FPUC is designed for continuous streaming of video data. Using raspberry pi electronics and a PVC housing, this unit can be built for a fraction of the cost of commercially available long term underwater cameras. Coupled with clever motion detection algorithms, this camera can be used for vegetation health monitoring, species counts, species identification, behaviour research and turbidity monitoring through computer vision.

FPUC Guide
Underwater Speaker

AusOcean speakers are utilised for audio playback underwater, typically at areas directly below the supporting rig. The speakers are considered a peripheral therefore, are powered and controlled by the on board controller. The rig acts as a base to provide sufficient power for indefinite operation or until the end of a data collection period. Underwater speakers have recently been used to play healthy reef sounds to promote oyster larvae recruitment and have potential for other “reef treatment” applications to accelerate habitat recovery.

Underwater Speaker Guide
Circut Board
Rig Controller PCB

The custom PCB controller board interfaces rig systems and sensor/actuator peripherals with an Adafruit HUZZAH ESP8266 microcontroller. This controller monitors battery voltage, reads sensors, controls nav light sequencing and actuates power to peripherals such as underwater cameras and reef treatment speakers. With WiFi connectivity, the controller may be operated and monitored remotely using AusOcean’s free cloud services: NetReceiver and vidgrind. The fully assembled controller board is enclosed in a plastic housing that is inserted into the centre of the mast tube.

Rig PCB Controller Board Guide



RV is a driver program that is run on our FPUC cameras to collect and push video data to the cloud. Our low-cost underwater cameras are designed to remain at sea for months at a time, live-streaming footage to the cloud. A downfall of acquiring such large amounts of video data is that much of what we collect doesn't contain anything of interest i.e. when analysing footage we are only interested in frames that contain fish or other species of interest. RV can utilise motion detection algorithms to significantly reduce the amount of video data we send to the cloud (reducing data upload), whilst also reducing the data that needs to be analysed. In other words, we’re training software to do what humans do, analyse the footage, pick out anything of interest and discard the rest.

RV Software Guide

Additional Guides