BioSonics and The Oceanscience Group Launch Z-Boat 1800MX
BioSonics, Inc. and The Oceanscience Group release a portable remotely-operated habitat-mapping survey boat, the Z-Boat 1800MX.
This boat is a combination of Oceanscience’s remote hydrographic survey boat and BioSonics’ industry-leading MX echosounder. With Z-Boat 1800MX researchers can obtain quantitative measurements of aquatic vegetation and substrate distribution with no use of man-powered boat.
Z-boat is completely navigated by computer software and it’s planned survey guidance is aided by on-board GPS system. At the same time, BioSonics Visual Acquisition 6 software provides the operator with instant bathymetry and vegetation data courtesy of a high definition full water column echogram. Due to real-time control of all echosounder settings, trough Ethernet radio connection, data quality is not compromised.
Building on the successful integration of their DT-X fisheries echosounder on the Liquid Robotics Wave Glider in 2013, BioSonics recognize the advantages and importance of utilizing unconventional platforms to deploy environmental monitoring equipment. “These remote platforms can provide our customers habitat data where previously it was costly or impossible to collect”, said BioSonics’ spokesman Eric Munday of SUBSEA 20/20. “For hard-to-access shallow water surveys, the MX echosounder may be installed on the Z-Boat in just a few minutes, and then easily removed for use on a manned boat as required, so this is another tool to maximize the value of our instruments to our customers.”
With BioSonics and Oceanscience combined ideas and effort, a very low draft boat, that can be launched practically anywhere, has been created. System integration for the boat was also a simple task for BioSonics, as they didn’t have to adjust nor repackage the sonar for the designed model.
With the MX integration complete, the two companies look forward to field demonstrations of the system in action, as well as more remote instrument projects.
Press Release, February 11, 2014; Image: OCEANSCIENCE