The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Sep/Oct 2016


Mediterranean excursion for DTS-500 deep-tow sparker

Applied Acoustics, UK, reports its deep-tow sparker, the DTS-500, has been deployed in the Mediterranean Sea, off the continental slope of Majorca, Spain, working on a project with SOCIB, the Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forcasting body. Assisted by SOCIB’s oceanographic instrumentation technician, Carlos Castilla Álvarez, the DTS-500 was deployed in deep water, up to 500 metres, at a distance up to one kilometre from the SOCIB research vessel.  

“We achieved greater than 60-metre penetration and with increased data resolution, up to 15 centimetres, the sub-bottom profiling results were excellent across the full-working depth range of the DTS-500,” said project leader Neil MacDonald.
“We also deployed multiple positioning beacons, the new Applied Acoustics’ 1100 Series, on both the tow-cable and towfish and used the recently launched Nexus 2 USBL positioning system with similar excellent results,” he added. 

Designed for high- and ultra-high-resolution geophysical surveys, the DTS-500 operates from a single industry standard coaxial tow cable up to 2000 metres in length, has long-life durable electrodes and integral hydrophone receiver. 

The complete system consists of a rack mount surface console, cable and robust towfish.  

ARIS Explorer aids UXO identification in the North Sea

Sound Metrics, the USA-based manufacturer of high-resolution acoustic imaging sonars, reports it supplied an ARIS Explorer 3000 to aid an organisation in the identification and classification of unexploded ordnance (UXO) off the coast of the North Sea “with outstanding results”.

“The coast of the North Sea is known to be particularly turbid, due to strong currents and large amounts of sediment swept into the seabed by neighbouring rivers. As a result, optical cameras are often ineffective, and other imaging sonars lack the clear, sharp detail afforded by the ARIS Explorer 3000,” said a Sound Metrics spokesman.

He added: “Due to the unmatched clarity provided by the ARIS Explorer 3000 in zero-visibility waters, the sonar provided the organisation with the needed detail critical to the accurate identification of UXO. With the ARIS’ high-resolution imaging, the team successfully gathered information on the target’s dimensions, characteristics and location.”

Characteristics of the target were found to be consistent with a German LMB ground mine – featuring a rounded nose and “oyster-like” tail-shape. Using the ARIScope software measurement tool, the mine was measured to be approximately 2.3 metres in length.

“With conclusive results, the client said that he is ‘over the moon with this product’ and how well the ARIS Explorer was able to help him and his team positively determine the identity of the UXO,” said the spokesman. “Due to the successful identification of the target, the team could effectually evaluate risk and carry out a plan of action to protect seafarers in accordance to industry practice and protocol.”


New diver pinger receiver

RJE International, USA, reports the launch of a “new and improved” DPR-275 diver pinger receiver.

The portable, hand-held DPR-275 is an acoustic receiver with a wide span of frequency with both visual and audio, capable of detecting and locating an underwater sound source emitting a signal in the five- to 80-kilohertz range.

“The durable DPR-275 has an improved LED display readout for greater visibility in poor conditions and a rechargeable nine-volt lithium-ion battery that has a longer life and is easier to change. We also added an enlarged compass for convenient navigation and a more rugged water-tight carrying case,” said RJE.

Blue Robotics announces the launch of a new 'affordable' ROV

USA-based Blue Robotics has announced the introduction of “a new high-performance and affordable underwater drone”, the BlueROV2.

“Leveraging a vectored thruster configuration that is usually only seen in high-end vehicles, the BlueROV2 is smooth and stable yet highly manoeuvrable. It provides a solid platform to attach scientific equipment, film cinematographic quality shots and explore the oceans down to a depth of 100 metres,” said the company.


Blue Robotics added that the BlueROV2 comes in a number of different configurations, with a standard kit costing just around US$3000 (GB£2300). “We’re able to make the BlueROV2 at a fraction of the cost of similar vehicles thanks to many of the same technologies that have made aerial drones affordable,” the firm said. That includes the use of the open-source Pixhawk autopilot as well as a Raspberry Pi computer.
“The price of the BlueROV2 will enable wider use of subsea vehicles for many people including universities, research organisations, small businesses, hobbyists and first responders,” said the company.





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