LED Heat Sinks

For a couple of weeks we have been trying to figure out how to situate our LED lights so that they don't cause problems with drag or camera view. We have tried about a dozen different options and have switched back and forth between them a bunch of times.

The original idea was to put them in a ring around the submersible. This was quickly scrapped as it takes a lot of material, adds to surface area, and would be hard to machine.

LEDs in a Ring around Submersible

We then realized that it would be easier to create sections of the ring that each house an LED light and spread them around the submersible. This still had some of the same problems and meant that each light that broke would need an entirely new housing that would have to be custom created.

LED module for outside
We were advised to use pre-made heat sinks and just create a mounting bracket of sort for the LEDs. The LEDs would then go inside of the submersible between the camera's and rotate on the same rod. This looked like a great solution at the time and meant we could use fewer lights (as the same ones would look down and forward). Unfortunately we then made the decision to use 4" PVC for our submersible. After creating a CAD model we found it was almost impossible to fit this inside of a 4" pipe.

Triangle for 3 LEDs

Triangle heat sink (bigger holes for the lens)

We then went back to external modules, but made them so that the LEDs could be replaced without having to replace the entire module. Again we were advised against this and tried to fit the LEDs into the inside.

We came up with a couple different ways to do it: putting and LED strip across the top or bottom or, alternatively, putting them vertically. While changing to this design we also made some changes to our camera layout. We decided to have both a webcam for video streaming and two pi cameras for stereoscopic vision, and this makes the dome much more crowded and so harder to work with.

Strip across the bottom

Vertical LEDs  strip between cameras

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