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June 2016 Issue

Side Scan Sonar for
Multiple Applications

Side scan sonar produces detailed images of the underwater environment regardless of water clarity. It scans several hundred feet of ocean, lake or river bottom with each pass of a boat, allowing large areas to be searched quickly. The sonar’s acoustic beam reflects off any objects lying on the bottom and the data are sent topside, where vivid color images are displayed and stored on a laptop or tablet computer.

The New York Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Police acquired a JW Fishers SSS-600K side scan sonar to survey reservoirs to ensure no foreign objects are contaminating the city’s water supply. The department recently upgraded their sonar system with the latest revisions and sent two officers to JW Fishers’ facility in Massachusetts for a free day of factory training.

Another law enforcement agency using side scan sonar is the Dubai Police in the United Arab Emirates. For water SAR operations, the department acquired a JW Fishers side scan sonar with splash-proof computer and Sonar Map Coverage software.

Police aren’t the only ones using side scan in their search operations. For example, the commercial diving company Hydromax in the Philippines uses the sonar for ship maintenance and repair, hydrographic surveys, pier inspection and repair, search and salvage, and dredging.


Undersea Battery Achieves
Over 60 Hr. at Sea

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems’ (GA-EMS) Lithium-ion Fault Tolerant (LiFT) battery has successfully undergone on-hull demonstration testing on a Special Operations Command (SOCOM) undersea vehicle. The LiFT battery, integrated on an undersea vehicle by Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, achieved DNV GL certification and over 60 hr. of at-sea “underway under battery power” time with no failures.

GA-EMS’ LiFT fault-tolerant battery system has been developed for use in both manned and unmanned underwater vehicles to provide a high energy density solution to improve projected mission capabilities. The on-hull demonstration testing verified the system’s capacity and validated its functionality in providing the power necessary for submersible propulsion and operation.


AZFP to Study Deepwater
Zooplankton, Micronekton

ASL Environmental Sciences Inc. has successfully collaborated with the Institute of Oceanography and Global Change for the adaptation of ASL’s Acoustic Zooplankton and Fish Profiler (AZFP) for use as a tool to study the deepwater (more than 1,000 m) zooplankton and micronekton in the subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean through measurement of quasi-instantaneous vertical profiles.

The new instrument is intended to provide absolute acoustic backscatter at four frequencies (38, 125, 200 and 455 kHz) as it is lowered down the water column to a maximum of 6,000 m depth.

As part of the project, ASL designed a prototype instrument and tested it to evaluate multiple-frequency technology for use as a standard instrument in oceanography. The instrument will provide acoustic data from the bathypelagic zone of the oceans to complement other parameters for the study of deepwater zooplankton, micronekton and large particles.


Sonardyne Joins UK NOC
Marine Robotics Centre

Sonardyne International Ltd. has become the newest Associate Member of the U.K. National Oceanography Centre’s (NOC) Marine Robotics Innovation Centre.

Sonardyne and NOC have a long history of working together, with Sonardyne acoustic positioning equipment currently installed on the NOC’s deep-diving ROV and fleet of Autosub AUVs, and an Innovate UK-funded project underway. This new collaboration is expected to see further groundbreaking ocean science projects take place.


Successful Trials for
ULS-100 Laser Scanner

Genex Systems, an engineering, scientific research and information technology services firm headquartered in Hampton, Virginia, trialed 2G Robotics’ ULS-100 underwater laser scanner to test its capabilities for bridge scour experiments and sediment transport analysis. The trials were conducted at the TFHRC J. Sterling Jones Hydraulics Research Laboratory.

2G Robotics’ ULS line of underwater laser systems produce true-scale, high-resolution 3D models of underwater structures and environments in real time. These 3D models function as dimensional records and serve as reliable references from which to obtain accurate measurements and information.

Both stationary and dynamic scans were performed with the ULS-100. The scanner was attached to a robotic arm that was mounted to an automated carriage that allowed the arm to move along the channel length. With this setup, power and communication were provided through the robotic arm.

One of the tests performed was to gauge the measurement resolution capabilities of the ULS-100. For this test, the laser scanner was operated in profile mode to dynamically scan the sediment bed load. Sediment transport occurs in bodies of water as a result of current and tidal movement. Information obtained from sediment bed form analysis helps to determine areas where erosion or deposition will occur and aids with understanding bridge scouring.

The ULS-100 was also used to scan small dolosse (concrete blocks in complex geometric shapes) on the floor of the channel, serving as a hydraulic obstruction near the bed, to capture the contour perimeter between the dolosse and the highly erodible channel bed. Understanding this contour is useful for monitoring the performance of scour countermeasures, such as dolosse or riprap in the lab. Compared to a photo, the laser scanning data made it easier to understand the contouring.

Following the trials, Genex Systems purchased a ULS-100 and recently took delivery of the system. With its high-resolution visualization capabilities and efficient generation of detailed dimensional models, the ULS-100 will be integral to facilitating Genex Systems’ bridge scour and sediment bed form experiments.


2016:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE
2015:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

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Sea Technology is read worldwide in more than 110 countries by management, engineers, scientists and technical personnel working in industry, government and educational research institutions. Readers are involved with oceanographic research, fisheries management, offshore oil and gas exploration and production, undersea defense including antisubmarine warfare, ocean mining and commercial diving.