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I2-NEWS: Educators Worldwide "Boldly Go" Underwater to New England Seamounts

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  • From: Greg Wood <>
  • To:
  • Subject: I2-NEWS: Educators Worldwide "Boldly Go" Underwater to New England Seamounts
  • Date: Fri, 21 May 2004 13:46:27 -0400
  • Organization: Internet2

Mike Savic
VBrick Systems
(203) 265-0101


VBrick Systems’ Award-Winning Networked Video Appliances Bring
Video of Deep-Sea Research to Life

WOODS HOLE, MA – May 17, 2004 – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) flagship, the Ronald H. Brown, left the port of Woods Hole, MA last week to begin what will be a 17-day expedition to explore the New England Seamount Chain. From May 8th through May 25th, the expedition, supported by the NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration, will journey out to the “Mountains in the Sea” that lie to the southeast of Georges Bank in the Atlantic Ocean. As the dive team explores the peaks and valleys of these underwater mountains, students worldwide will be able to witness it all firsthand thanks to VBrick Systems, Inc. ( VBrick Systems, the premier provider of digital video solutions, has provided their innovative video appliances to expand the reach of the expedition so that live exploration footage is available as it happens to educators and students worldwide.

The expedition will take place along the chain of seamounts that stretch for over 500 miles and feature underwater peaks that rise 12,000 feet from the seafloor. A team consisting of technicians and educators, and led by scientists from the University of Connecticut and the University of Maine will dive on the mountains’ features with a pair of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) owned and operated by Mystic Aquarium and the Institute for Exploration in Mystic, CT. The ROVs will send images of the ancient deep sea volcanoes up to the ship and over a satellite system provided by the EDS Corporation to shore. VBrick Systems’ video solutions have enabled the expedition’s crew to stream this live video from the ROVs to the World Wide Web and to the Internet2, giving students and educators alike the chance to immerse themselves virtually into the excitement of live exploration and discovery.

“While we made great advances with last year’s expedition, there is still much to be learned,” said Ivar Babb, University of Connecticut’s National Undersea Research Center Director. “We strongly believe that the excitement and adventure of this expedition should not be limited to a select few. That is why we are glad to partner with VBrick Systems to utilize their technology and the Internet so that everyone who is interested can be involved.”

Working in conjunction with the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut Education Network, VBrick has implemented a website ( to make live video of the expedition available worldwide over the Internet and Internet2. Streaming video from the expedition site will be available to the public worldwide for 12 hours a day from May 17th through May 24th.

To further engage viewers, students and educators at schools and universities will have the opportunity to participate in an hour-long, live chat via the website ( each day. The online chat will enable teachers and students at more than 40 schools in the northeast region of the United States and educational institutions in the Internet2 consortium to ask questions of the crew in a real-time setting.

“Last year’s Black Sea expedition proved to be truly groundbreaking, and yielded a great amount of new information benefiting students and scientists all over the world,” said Richard Mavrogeanes, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of VBrick Systems, Inc. “This year we wanted to help the expedition not only provide live video, but also add a universal element of interaction to the experience. An important aspect of the mission is that technology no longer gets in the way of the important work marine researchers and educators do. Students and educators fortunate enough to have access to the Internet2 can view the live mission via IP multicast in spectacular MPEG-2 format with true DVD-quality, while those with conventional Internet connections can view the mission using our MPEG-4 webcast technology, provided in conjunction with our partner PowerStream”.

In August 2003, VBrick Systems provided robust, reliable video solutions for a similar expedition that investigated the ancient deep-sea shipwrecks at the bottom of the Black Sea conducted by Mystic Aquarium and the Institute for Exploration. VBrick Systems provided several portable, reliable networked video appliances, webcasting, and the critical expertise that allowed the deep-sea exploration to have a worldwide live audience via the Internet and Internet2.

About VBrick Systems, Inc.
VBrick Systems, Inc. manufactures simple, reliable video solutions that enhance communications and reduce costs for organizations large and small. VBrick enables enterprises to benefit from high quality visual communications through networked video appliances. VBrick MPEG video solutions provide the simplest and most dependable visual communications to businesses, educational institutions and government agencies ranging in use from distributing news and information and distance learning to training and surveillance. Based in Wallingford, Connecticut, USA, VBrick Systems' products are distributed through industry-leading value-added resellers, system integrators and distributors. Find out more at

About NOAA
NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through research to better understand atmospheric and climate variability and to manage wisely our nation's coastal and marine resources. Learn more about NOAA at:

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  • I2-NEWS: Educators Worldwide "Boldly Go" Underwater to New England Seamounts, Greg Wood, 05/21/2004

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