The goal of Project Prometheus was to develop and deploy a low-cost, high-precision underwater system to quickly and beautifully map caves, coral reefs, and sunken cities.
Project Prometheus aimed to change the way underwater caves are mapped, documented, and shared with the public. At present, underwater caves are typically mapped with taut lines, waterproof slates, and compasses; our goal was to create a diver-carried cave-mapping system that can create a 3d map of an underwater cave in real time, for hours on end, and at a cost comparable to a basic dive camera.
To meet this challenge, a new mapping system was designed, developed, and deployed in Mexico and the Channel Islands in 2018 and 2019. The problem proved far, far more complex than our initial proposal estimated, but taught us taught us more than we would have guessed about underwater imaging.
Team: Allan Adams, Jacob Bernstein
Funded by: National Geographic Society
2021 status: Continuing