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Groundfish Assessment - Survey Profile
Specialized Equipment

Towed Automatically Compensting Observation System (TACOS)

A TACOS video system AFSC scientists adapted the design for a Towed Automatically Compensating Observation System or TACOS, developed by engineers and scientists at the CSIRO laboratory in Hobart, Tasmania, to investigate the demersal environment in heavily fished areas around Sequam Pass, Alaska. The apparatus uses a color underwater video camera and AC lighting. Electricity and video signals are transmitted through an electrical tow cable as the camera frame tracks 1-2 meters above bottom. In flat towing altitude, distance above bottom is controlled by counterbalancing flotation with the weight of a drag chain. Live-feed video on the tow vessel's bridge allows the operator to control the amount of deployed cable, responding to changes in the terrain.

See video clips of demersal habitat captured with the TACOS.

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