So Brian Adams, Erika Bergman, and I went on an OpenROV adventure in Monterey this weekend using my inflatable boat. Our goal was to test some new concepts for the next revision of the ROV design as well as get some practice with ocean dives. Here's a video recorded using Screencastify:
The whole deployment went great, except after sealing the tube in the humid coastal air, a large amount of condensation started to accumulate inside the tube and block our view. That, on top of the glare from the white batteries (I'm working on that as well) made it a lot harder to see what was going on later in the dive. If we had a perfectly clear view, I think we would have seen a lot more.
I'm going to start experimenting with different ways to keep condensation from getting in the way of the camera, and I was hoping to get some help with ideas as well as testing.
To start out, here are the methods for reducing visibility problems from condensation that I've accumulated so far (organized into two mitigation categories):
Keeping moisture out of the air in the first place:
1. Placing desiccant packs in tube prior to dive to dry out air
2. Placing other water-absorbing material (such as rice) in tube prior to dive
3. Filling tube with helium
4. Filling tube with air from "canned air" cannister
5. Filling trash bag with desiccant powder and assembling tube inside trashbag
Keeping condensation away from camera area:
1. Placing cloth above and below camera so it can wipe off condensation as it moves up and down
2. Using a small computer fan to blow on the inside of the tube in front of the camera
3. Placing a heater around the area the camera looks through
4. Using a peltier cooler to attract moisture that would otherwise accumulate on the tube
Can anyone think of other (preferably simple and low cost) ways to prevent condensation issues? Would anyone be willing to do some experimentation with any of these methods to see how well they work?
I'll post more about my own experimentation as it happens.