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UVic unveils world's most advanced seafloor observatory

A project led by the University of Victoria is about to make oceanographic history. VENUS, the world's most advanced, cabled seafloor observatory, will be installed in December 2005 in the waters of Saanich Inlet north of Victoria, British Columbia.

VENUS (the Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea) pioneers a new approach to studying the oceans. Through the Internet, VENUS's underwater network of fibre optic cables and instruments will continuously feed data, sounds and images from the ocean depths to laboratories, classrooms, science centres and homes around the world.

VENUS is interactive, meaning that ocean scientists will no longer be bound by the limitations of ship schedules, bad weather, or delayed access to research data. VENUS scientists will operate their instruments and download data online, day or night, in real time.

"The installation of the VENUS observatory is a scientific milestone for UVic, for Canada and indeed for the world," said UVic President Dr. David Turpin at a media briefing and reception to showcase VENUS technology before it is submerged in the sea. "The ocean surface is no longer a barrier to our curiosity. VENUS lets us all 'enter' the ocean whenever we wish and opens up a whole new era of ocean exploration. It builds on UVic's recognized strengths in ocean sciences and we're very proud of the hard work, strong partnerships, and innovative thinking that have brought us to this exciting threshold."

VENUS is funded by $10.3 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund, and other contributions from federal agencies, industry and sponsors.

"The VENUS observatory will contribute significantly to our understanding of the oceans and generate countless benefits for and the world," says Dr. Eliot Phillipson, president and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). "The CFI is a proud partner in this project that will help enhance Canada's
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Contact: Valerie Shore
vshore@uvic.ca
250-721-7641
University of Victoria
17-Nov-2005


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