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Since 1997, marine scientists and engineers have been using robot called Sirius to explore the ocean floor at Ningaloo Reef. This Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), equipped with high resolution cameras and sonar and the ability to navigate on its own, has allowed them to gain unparalleled insights into deep water environments.
These are the locations of benthic lifeform and substrate monitoring data from 1993 onwards. Data is maintined by the AIMS datacenter in the RM_VPOINT table of the NMPMP database. Percentage cover of different substrate types and benthic organisms (particularly corals), identified to benthic group or lifeform level.
The ROV was used in four different locations and communities of the marine park to gather more detailed video data of different benthic communities, previously identified from towed video. Due to its stability and manoeuvrability the ROV was also used to gather 'in situ' video footage of individual sponges, soft corals, gorgonians and other benthic species making up each community.