Our autonomous monitoring system benefits from a range of set-up options so that the most appropriate one can be chosen for the budget and resources available for the survey.
Transponders can be pre-configured with the chosen log regime prior to deployment using a simple laptop, a serial test cable set up and minimal user interaction. Each transponder can be programmed to the desired settings within minutes to allow for rapid and effective deployment operations.
Once programmed, the transponders are generally deployed in frames and lowered to the seabed. During deployment, the supplied software provides a number of QA checks to ensure that the transponder is operating correctly, instilling the user with confidence that the unit will provide the data necessary for successful monitoring.
Precision pressure, temperature, sound velocity and dual-axis inclinometer sensors are integrated and are intelligently powered up at the requested time and sampling period, providing an ultra-low power platform for surveys lasting up to six years.
Compatibility with both Sonardyne Wideband and HiPaP® signal architecture ensures that the transponders can be tracked during deployment to establish accurate drop coordinates whatever the USBL tracking system available on the vessel.
The system is controlled by our Monitor software application which can run on a range of platforms from a basic laptop to a high specification Navigation Computer. It is compatible with Windows XP and Windows 7 operating systems.
Monitor is easy and intuitive to use, offering tools to allow the user to assess the performance of the system, including real-time acoustic quality indicators. Offshore operations can be efficiently planned with minimal operator training as the intelligent software allocates appropriate performance settings according to the specifications of the proposed deployment.
The software guides the user through planning an appropriate logging regime by highlighting factors such as estimated number of pages to be logged daily and yearly battery consumption. This enables a log configuration to be easily chosen that will enable the specifications of the planned operation (frequency of logged data, time available for data upload, duration of deployment) to be met. The log regime can be as simple or as complex as the survey demands, ranging from single logs from a single sensor to multiple repeat logs from a variety of sensors.
The system is designed to acquire the following types of data:
Horizontal Distance / Displacement
Highly precise acoustic ranges are measured autonomously, repeatedly and simultaneously between multiple instruments to monitor lateral displacements. Temperature and sound velocity are recorded simultaneously to compensate the time of flight range measurements.
Highly precise and stable pressure measurements are recorded to enable long term monitoring of vertical displacements by analysis of differences in average water column height between different instruments. A by-product is precise tidal amplitude and period within the field area.
Highly precise inclinometers record changes in roll and pitch to monitor motion of structure and/or integrity of coupling to the seabed.
A range of other high precision sensors can be integrated with the system by connection to the transponders via serial connection. This makes the system highly versatile and easily customisable to a variety of monitoring needs.
Data retrieval operations can be planned at any time during the deployment period.
When recovering data, the user has a choice of transceivers to use. They range from a 6G dunking transceiver which can be easily deployed and retrieved, to a fixed USBL transceiver (HPT), installed on a through-hull or over-the-side deployment pole. For monitoring-only projects, the transceiver does not need to be rigidly mounted therefore often, if conditions permit, the dunking transceiver is the ideal option. This makes the system highly versatile as it can be easily transferred from vessel to vessel.
When using an HPT transceiver, data can be retrieved at up to 6000 bps. It also provides the user with the capability to precisely configure the system to ensure that data can be retrieved, even in difficult acoustic environments. Retrieval can also be via serial connection for time efficient, low cost deploy and retrieve operations.
The modem data transfer protocol implements forward error correction to allow the receiver to detect and correct a limited number of errors and a number of master retries are available to ensure that the system re-retrieves any data packets that have been received in error. This enables efficient data retrieval operations to take place with minimal operator interaction.
Once the desired number of data pages have been retrieved from a transponder, Monitor compiles the data and translates it to .csv format, enabling the data to then be imported to a wide variety of data analysis applications.