Drop Camera Release and Recovery

Hello everyone!

Also a newbie in drop camera development. Currently trying to develop a drop camera in order to study the deep sea fisheries happening in Southeast Asia and would really appreciate some advice. The drop camera to be developed will be using the BlueRobotics aluminum enclosure and will hopefully be able to get up to 1000m in depth. The unit will run on Raspberry Pi attached to a set of internal batteries.

I would like to ask regarding release and recovery systems. Hoping anyone can shed some light on this.

For release systems, I have looked into burn wire releases as well as galvanic timed releases. I have heard about electromagnetic applications for release but am unsure if it would be possible/compatible with the setup. Was wondering if someone could help me source out possible equipment/builds for this.

For recovery systems, I am currently looking at using a TRX receiver from the boat but am unsure regarding the transmitter which will be attached to the drop camera setup. Are there available waterproof transmitters that can withstand pressure at 1000m or should we make a special enclosure for the transmitter? Would anyone be able to share their drop camera builds for release and recovery? This would be really helpful to our research and drop camera development.

Thanks in advance to all your responses!

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Hi @Tides, welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

There’s quite a bit of discussion of release mechanisms in this thread, so I’d suggest looking there first.

One of the comments there is:

It may also be possible to get/construct a linear actuator that can retract from a hole to release, or use an actuated razor blade to cut the loop the weight is tied on with.

This isn’t something I’m experienced with, but I imagine the transmitter hardware itself should be enclosed so it doesn’t need to handle the pressure, with an antenna sticking out to ensure the signal can transmit effectively.

Thank you so much for getting back to me @EliotBR!

I will be looking up on the resources that you’ve sent me.

Could I also ask about the actual depth rating of your lights (initially rated at a deeper depth rating) as well as the new housing series (both sizes)? I would like to know what is the deepest possible depth pressure that the equipment can withstand safely. Basically we want to know the safety limits of the equipment.

Do you also have the housings available in a different branch (preferably in Asia) which would be easier and more affordable in terms of shipping? And would you know how much it would cost to get them to the Philippines?

Appreciate all your feedback!


The Lumens are rated to 500m, as specified in the Technical Details tab on the product page. In the Revision History it says

which implies that improved testing capabilities and capacity changed our understanding of the Lumen robustness under pressure, and caused us to de-rate them. While the changeover last year to WetLink Penetrators should at least mean the penetrations are rated to 950m, a rating is based on the weakest link, and it’s possible the lenses or outer body could still fail beyond 500m at an unacceptable frequency (I’m not sure of the particular reasoning for the rating).

Tube pressure ratings are dependent on the material, wall thickness, and length, along with the ratings of any end-cap components. I don’t have the ratings for all those components, so I unfortunately can’t give them to you, but they’ll be available in the relevant technical details tables once the products are released. In general the ratings should be the same or deeper than the equivalent current enclosure components.

I believe currently the shortest 3" aluminium locking tube (150mm) and the 3" dome end cap are both expected to be rated to 950m, but that’s not finalised, and I’m unsure about larger sizes and other components (they may be less, or possibly the same, but deeper than 950m for any of them is unlikely).

If you’re interested in getting your own understanding of pressure ratings and pressure vessel design, I’d recommend trying out the Under Pressure software :slight_smile:

For that I’d direct you to our global network of Distributors :slight_smile:

Nope. If you aren’t able to find a distributor to help with this, I’d direct you to our sales email: sales@bluerobotics.com