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Marine Electronics

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July 2012 Issue

StarFish 990F Side Scan Sonar Inspects Port in England
Tyne and Wear Marine Ltd. (South Shields, England) used Tritech International Ltd.’s (Aberdeen, Scotland) StarFish 990F for a survey of the dock wall on the Tyne River, in Newcastle, England, during a port survey and inspection project.

StarFish Seabed Imaging Systems use chirp acoustic technology and digital signal-processing techniques for greater image clarity and range resolution compared to conventional fixed-frequency side scan sonars. This technology enabled the operators at Tyne and Wear Marine Ltd. to image the dock wall and capture targets, Tritech said. In post-processing, the operators were able to overlay the data onto a photographic image of the dock walls.


Data From L-3 Klein Sonar To Be Used In Bering Sea Surveys
An updated version of L-3 Klein Associates Inc.’s (Salem New Hampshire) Klein 7180 Long-Range Side Scan Sonar (LRSSS) will be deployed in surveys of the Bering Sea for NOAA research on fish habitats.

The LRSSS was upgraded to improve its performance and the quality of data produced for essential fish habitat (EFH) characterization and mapping. The system now provides calibrated backscatter across the entire survey area with cascade calibration, which uses overlapping data swaths to transfer the calibrated backscatter from a downward-looking sonar to other acoustic subsystems covering the nadir under the towfish and side scan regions, biologist Bob McConnaughey wrote in a quarterly report for NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center. The upgraded LRSSS now acquires bathymetric data using the interferometry, as opposed to a more complex solution based on an integrated multibeam echosounder.

The improved LRSSS was tested during sea trials conducted in March at Port Madison in Puget Sound, Washington, on the U.S. Navy vessel Battle Point YTT-10. The trials measured characteristics such as pitch, roll and yaw offsets, and ground-truthing devices that NOAA uses were tested in preparations for a Bering Sea cruise this summer.

“This project will compare the cost [and] benefits of the LRSSS with more conventional sonars, including two hull-mounted hydrographic-quality multibeam echosounders and another high-resolution side scan sonar system,” McConnaughey wrote.

Both versions of the LRSSS acquire calibrated 38-kilohertz single-beam backscatter and basic water-quality measurements, including chlorophyll-a, concentrations of dissolved organic matter and turbidity, while gathering the primary backscatter at 180 kilohertz and bathymetry data. LRSSS ancillary data are being investigated for use in the next generation of NOAA’s eastern Bering Sea habitat models, according to McConnaughey.


BBC to Deploy Waverider Buoy In Documentary on Icebergs
A Waverider buoy, manufactured by Datawell BV (Haarlem, Netherlands), will be used by a BBC Science team to record a two-part documentary on icebergs.

The DWR-G4 buoy, supplied by RS Aqua Ltd. (Alton, England), will be used to record wave data, the rental company announced in June. RS Aqua Ltd. also provided one of the team’s scientists with product training on the buoy, its mooring, radio receiver and software.

The first episode of the documentary will look at the birth of an iceberg, and the second will focus on its death. In filming the second episode, the team of scientists aboard the vessel will try to understand the process by which icebergs die and assess their impact on the environment and nearby communities. The scientists will study melt and cracking rates in relation to factors such as water temperature and salinity. The local wave climate is to be monitored by the Waverider DWR-G4 buoy to understand its effect on micro icequakes and calving from the berg. The buoy, the smallest of the Wave­rider series, is 40 centimeters in diameter and is designed for short-term operations.

Titled “Operation Iceberg,” the documentary is scheduled to air in September on BBC2.


RBR Successfully Tests MLM-1000 Modem
RBR Ltd.’s (Ottawa, Canada) MLM-1000 Inductive Mooring Line Modem has successfully passed field trials, the company announced in June.

RBR conducted a joint field trial in Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts, with McLane Research Laboratories Inc. (East Falmouth, Massachusetts) that involved laying 1 mile of jacketed mooring line across the seabed between two vessels. The McLane Moored Profiler (MMP) controller was deployed on the seabed, while communications were established aboard another vessel using principles of inductive coupling. With the RBR MLM-1000, data transfer ensued at 4800 baud.

McLane has integrated the MLM-1000 into its MMP to utilize the modem’s capacity for high-speed data transfers, RBR said. The MLM-1000 modem operates as a transparent serial line extender and is available as an add-on to RBR CTDs and submersible instruments.


Echoscope Assists Deep BV In Cable-Laying Operations
CodaOctopus (Edinburgh, Scotland) and Nautikaris BV (IJmuiden, Netherlands) recently have been involved in a project for Deep BV Hydrography and Geophysics (Amsterdam, Netherlands), providing positioning and survey services for the installation of a power cable at the Thornton Bank Wind Farm off the Belgian coast.

This is the first time the Echoscope sonar has been used to monitor the cable’s catenary and touchdown point in 3D as it was being laid on the seabed. Additionally, it was also used to visualize and monitor the pull-in of the cable into the J-tube.

CodaOctopus’ Underwater Survey Explorer software overlaid a computer-generated image of the planned siting of the cable onto the sonar view to confirm the cable was being laid on target. The work is ongoing.

“By ensuring the correct siting of the cable and by making necessary adjustments as it is being laid, we were able to work continuously without having to stop to check its position,” Jurgen Beerens, commercial manager at Deep BV, said.


2013:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC
2012:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

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