Issues Archive

July/August 2016 Vol. 20
No. 4
 DOE's Phantom  
 Echograms showing AZFP  
  data. Single target  
  detections are shown in  
  the bottom window, and  
  fish tracks have been  
  detected on half of the  
  visible data. Fish tracks  
  can be analysed to  
  examine fish behaviour  
 Echoview screen showing  
  confirmed fish tracks 
 Aquabotix's Endura 
 Enhanced USBL system from  
 MV Kommandor 

‘Revolutionary’ drone

Deep Ocean Engineering (DOE) of the USA, has announced the introduction of its newest underwater vehicle, the Phantom FlyImager.

“This revolutionary underwater drone is a hybrid system, co-developed with EdgeTech (USA), that allows the user to utilise a sophisticated sidescan sonar system, the EdgeTech 4125, combined with the functionality of the powerful, versatile and rugged Phantom T5 ROV underwater drone,” said DOE.

The company added: “What makes this new system unique is that the sidescan sonar system can be pulled behind a powered surface vessel as a towfish while scanning using ‘wings’ that provide stability and constant depth control. This sidescan system provides long-range acoustic imaging in the water column to find targets.

“Once the target is identified, the wings are retracted and the underwater drone is converted from a towfish to a free flying ROV for close up optical imaging of the target.”

The system’s design eliminates the need to deploy a passive sidescan sonar unit and separate ROV, DOE said.


Veripos software

UK-based Veripos, the global supplier of high-precision GNSS positioning services to the offshore oil and gas industry, has extended its ranges of proprietary software with the introduction of Quantum, “a new all-purpose suite of visualisation modules providing a state-of-the-art user interface for delivery of next-generation services and features”.

Designed to operate with all current Veripos positioning options including its latest Apex5 multi-constellation PPP service, the new software has been developed with significant input from a wide range of users by way of simplifying any system configuration while easing methods of interpretation, according to the company. Other advances include integral diagnostic functions for simple identification of any operational problems together with indications of likely solutions, the firm said.

The company added: “Visualisation modules can also be operated independently without affecting concurrent positioning calculations which might otherwise be feeding critical survey or vessel systems. At the same time, the Quantum framework comprises a series of different modules to meet a variety of specific operational tasks such as those necessary for hydrographic and seismic surveying as well as dynamic positioning. Its versatility also extends to providing a basic foundation for accommodating new modules or features.”


New mini-ROV from Aquabotix

USA-based Aquabotix has announced the introduction of a new mini-ROV, the Endura. Engineered for dependability and functionality across a wide range of underwater applications, the vehicle surpasses other mini-ROVs in thrust, dependability and software performance, according to the company.

“Endura is easy to use – it is ready for the water in three minutes, basic driver competency is developed in about three hours, with professional proficiency achieved in three days. Endura is intelligent – a full computer is built inside the vehicle and auto controls are available in the software. Endura is high performance – with hydrodynamic design for ultimate control in the water and powered by high-torque motors for up to five knots of thrust,” Aquabotix said.

The Endura configuration includes: five precision high-torque motors; a sensor package including depth, temperature, digital compassand leak detector; a 1080p true HD quality camera with tilt; 60 metres of neutrally buoyant tether; a depth rating of 100 metres (a 300-metre depth rating is also available); six pounds (2.7 kilograms) of payload capacity for customer specific applications; and high intensity LED lighting(4400 lumens).

The ROV operates on lithium battery technology with a standard operational run time of four hours.Available as an option, AC power can be used for continuous operation. Other options include: sidescan, scanning or multibeam sonar; GPS, DVL, USBL, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, satellite communications; environmental sensors; fish plow, laser scaler, manipulator arm; and 360-degree rotating/180-degree tilt camera.


Enhanced USBL system from AAE

Applied Acoustic Engineering (AAE), UK, reports the launch of a number of new products, including a greatly enhanced USBL system.

The Nexus 2 is the second-generation two-way digital system that takes the performance and features of the popular Nexus USBL system to a new level, said the company.

Developed with an emphasis on far greater accuracy while positioning over an extended operational range, the Nexus 2 provides a reliable and secure acoustic link with an extremely low susceptibility to interference, according to AAE.

The Great Yarmouth-based firm said: “Fundamental to the Nexus 2 system is AAE’s Sigma 2 digital acoustic coding, a proprietary set of bi-directional spread spectrum acoustic protocols devised by the company’s in-house R&D team. These protocols working with a complementary transducer design mean that positional accuracies of up to 0.15% slant range have been achieved.”

Alongside the USBL development, AAE has also released a new series of acoustic beacons to complement the Nexus 2.“Based on the same Sigma 2 protocols, the 1100 Series beacon has evolved to provide more accurate positioning, very long battery life and now has the addition of data telemetry options when used with the Nexus 2,” said the company.

AAE added that, for standard positioning and tracking tasks, Nexus 2 is also compatible with its 1000 Series beacons, 1200A and 1300A micro beacons and some of the older ‘tone’ products (900 Series).


Survey partnership

Gardline Geosurvey, UK, and Neptune, Australia, have entered into a strategic partnership which will see Gardline’s DP2 multi-role survey vessel the MV Kommandor enhanced with the permanent installation of Neptune’s Explorer 06 100HP ROV.

Manned by staff from both companies, the vessel has also seen a dedicated ROV control area created on board and benefits from mid-ship moon pool capabilities.

The ROV integration has strengthened the vessel’s full site investigation survey capabilities and allows it to offer enhanced features over standard site survey vessels, particularly with operations which require close approach work and extensive ROV operations, according to the companies.

The multi-role capabilities of the vessel also include the ability to undertake single pass site survey operations on the same cruise as ROV, geotechnical and environmental acquisition.

Kevin Stephen, Neptune’s operations and business development director for Europe, Mediterranean and Africa, said: “We’re delighted to have entered into this partnership with Gardline and it is one that we believe brings a strong integrated package to market.

“As we continue to explore opportunities within Europe and beyond, this new ROV survey and vessel package will be an attractive proposition for clients looking to benefit from an integrated solution and the MV Kommandor and its range of services is very much at the heart of this offering.

“As well as our ROV system and personnel, the partnership has also utilised our dedicated engineering and manufacturing teams and this is an area we will continue to use should further bespoke enhancements to the vessel be required.”

Stephen added: “This is an exciting development for Neptune and we are looking forward to maximising further opportunities within the subsea markets in the months and years ahead.”


New wave sensor from SeaView

SeaView Systems, USA, has announced the availability of the SVS-603 wave sensor.

The SVS-603 enables a new range of wave sensing applications through its compact footprint, low power consumption and high accuracy microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based design, according to the Michigan-based company.

“The SVS-603 exploits the latest sensor technologies in combination with existing wave science and SeaView proprietary algorithms to bring wave sensing capabilities to platforms for which this was previously impossible due to size and power constraints,” said SeaView’s Dr Tim Crandle. “The full-featured capability of the SVS-603 opens up a new era of application possibilities for compact, power efficient wave sensing.”

Crandle said key features of the SVS-603 include: very low power consumption; very small footprint; sold packaged or as bare PCB (printed circuit board); MEMS sensors account for 3D motion, rotation and compass heading in all dimensions to cover nine degrees of freedom; onboard temperature compensation for highest accuracy; and onboard data logger capable of logging as much as 10 years of wave data.

“MEMS sensor technology is the focus of tremendous investment by companies targeting mass market applications such as smart phones and game controllers,” said Crandle. “The increased accuracy and improved reliability that has resulted is a tremendous boon for applications of interest to SeaView customers, such as the wave sensing capabilities offered by the SVS-603.”


Fluid rolls out FlowCam Macro

UK-based marine science technology supplier Planet Ocean, the United Kingdom and Ireland agent for USA-based laboratory instrumentation manufacturer Fluid Imaging Technologies, reports a new instrument, FlowCam Macro, will be used for zooplankton analysis and research at the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science (SAHFOS) in Plymouth, UK. The FlowCam Macro will enable advancements in the study of zooplankton and other large particles up to five millimetres in size using imaging analysis technology, the company said.

Terry Sloane, managing director of Planet Ocean, said: “We have been in discussion with scientists at SAHFOS for several years about the potential to introduce the exciting opportunities that FlowCAM systems offer, providing enormous scope to extend capability, increasing both efficiency and science output.”

Harry Nelson, Fluid’s vice president of aquatic markets, said: “At Fluid Imaging Technologies, we’re dedicated to constant product improvement to meet the needs of our customers. The new instrument was developed specifically to address the growing need for the semi-automated analysis of zooplankton and other larger-sized particles.”

The consistent methodology used by SAHFOS for 85 years has positioned the research organisation as an International Centre of Taxonomic Excellence. Professor Willie Wilson, SAHFOS director, said: “This is new territory for SAHFOS, both in terms of technology and the types of research we will be able to conduct. The analysis of plankton samples is a core aspect of our work and to have a new tool that helps us rapidly and accurately conduct this will create new business opportunities for us.”

Dr George Graham, SAHFOS marine instrumentation and data scientist, said: “The science at SAHFOS is unique. Fluid Imaging Technologies has embraced this and its newly developed instrument will complement our microscopic analysis and proven world-class taxonomic expertise. The intuitive image analysis software will highlight samples of interest for our expert team of analysts.”


Thickness gauge

Dorchester, UK-based Tritex NDT has launched its new Multigauge 5650 Surveyor thickness gauge.

“The new gauge, based on the already very popular original Multigauge 5600, has new features including the option to simply exchange the probe and the gauge automatically switches to single echo mode for measuring GRP, plastic or uncoated metal,” said the company. “The gauge also measures metal thickness through coatings of up to 20 millimetres thick, to give the same high standard of performance as the Multigauge 5600. In addition, either probe can also be used in echo-echo mode, if required, by easily selecting the option from the keypad during measurement, negating the need for special probes.”


Bubbler release

YSI, USA, reports the release of a new water level sensor. Designed with simplicity in mind, the WaterLOG Amazon bubbler is ideal for long-term water level and flow monitoring sites and can be used as a stand-alone system with internal data storage, or as a sensor connected to any manufacturers’ data logger, according to YSI.

“The interface technology combined with the reliability of WaterLOG bubbler systems make the Amazon bubbler the ultimate water level and flow monitoring instrument for long-term monitoring sites,” said Tim Jeppsen, WaterLOG product manager.

Jeppsen added: “You can easily configure and collect data using the browser-based graphical user interface with all standard web browsers on PCs, tablets and smart phones.”


Hybrid-power ROV system

Deep Trekker, Canada, has announced the launch of a hybrid-power ROV, offering users the option of operating the ROV and charging its internal batteries at the same time.

The company said: “With Deep Trekker’s internal batteries, ROV pilots around the world have benefited from being able to launch the entire system in the most remote areas from one carrying case with no generator or additional top-side gear. The internal batteries provide six to eight hours of operation with a 1.5-hour re-charge time.

“However, challenging circumstances in environmental monitoring, salvage and recovery projects often require a Deep Trekker ROV to be in operation for more than eight continuous hours at a time. For these specific tasks, Deep Trekker now offers a hybrid-power ROV, providing a continuous charge to the ROV’s onboard batteries.”


New Echoview release supports AZFP

Echoview of Australia and Canada-based ASL Environmental Sciences have announced that support for ASL’s acoustic zooplankton fish profiler (AZFP) has been added to Echoview 7.1.

“ASL’s AZFPLink software has had the ability to export AZFP data to an Echoview-compatible text file format for some time. With the new release of 7.1, Echoview is now able to read raw binary AZFP data files directly, bringing considerable performance and usability benefits,” said the companies.


Altimeter release

Korea-based EofE Ultrasonics reports it has added to its EchoLogger product line with the launch of a new 6000-metre rated hydroacoustic altimeter, the AA400-6000.

The company said: “EchoLogger AA400 has been unique, and sought after by major institutes around the world which have used it mainly for sediment monitoring in various underwater environments. We have recently developed the new 6000-metre version which was tested and certified by KORAS (Korean Reliability Society) through the Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering. The product has been supplied to the Ocean University of China which is looking into sediment behaviours at ocean depth.”






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