VENUS offers a new way of studying the ocean. VENUS makes use of Internet and telecommunications technology to create a permanent link to monitoring instruments on the seafloor. This gives scientists and the public an ongoing way of monitoring the ocean environment.
The name VENUS, short for Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea, points to its location in southern British Columbia, Canada. As you see on our Locations page in the Research section, VENUS aims to study three sites near Victoria, BC: a location in Saanich Inlet north of Victoria, which went into operation in February of 2006; a location near the Fraser River Delta; and a location in the deeper waters of the Strait of Georgia. See the pages on each location to learn about their distinctive properties.
Each location is linked to the Internet with an underwater power and fibre optic cable. Instruments at each of the three locations are attached by their own cables to a node, which is the interface with the main cable.The Saanich Inlet location hosts, among other instruments, a still image camera system. The still camera system, which can pan, tilt, and zoom, and create short movies, is used for short intervals each day so that the camera’s lights do not affect the ecosystem around it. Samples of the images produced can be found in the Saanich still image gallery.
The Strait of Georgia location also hosts a hydrophone array. The hydrophone array has two hydrophones for creating audio recordings and a third hydrophone that allows researchers to analyze the intensity of each sound at a given frequency. Sample recordings and plots of sound by frequency are in our Feature Galleries.
You can watch videos of the installation of VENUS, the exploration of different sites, and images from the still camera. Find these clips on the Multimedia Galleries page.
Many of the instruments used in VENUS produce data that are primarily of interest to scientists. The VENUS Instrument Platform contains most of these instruments. You can investigate the automatic data plots produced from these instruments and also search the data archive yourself. The data archive was constructed as a collaborative effort between the VENUS team and the Data Management and Archiving System group ( DMAS ). Please read our ocean properties page to learn why scientists collect this data.
You can find information on research projects in several places on this website. The research projects page provides an overview of some of the research problems scientists are interested in. The research highlights page focuses on an individual project to reveal what questions were asked, the steps a researcher took, and what was found.
A key goal of VENUS is to encourage use of the facilities by researchers. The Research Community page presents these options, including how to attach your own instrument, how to collaborate with fellow researchers, and how to become involved as a student scientist. We also encourage networking between researchers engaged in different specialties. See the publications page for research based on VENUS.
Our quarterly newsletter gives you a current view of all aspects of VENUS.The Newsroom section contains news flashes, links to the newsletters, and information for media (including recent news items on the web) and upcoming events.
You can also find a wealth of background information in this Discover VENUS section ranging from a glossary to related links. You will also find a presentation that gives an excellent overview of the rationale and design of the project.
We welcome your comments and questions, whether you are in elementary school or university, or an interested adult or researcher. Please use the contact form to let us know how we can serve you better and what you would like to see on this website.