Expanding underwater search capabilities in Asia

Posted: 01/03/2012 in all marine news

Hydro international – 

Over the past year a number of Asian companies and government agencies have acquired underwater search equipment to aid in the location of lost objects and assist in performing survey operations.

In China, Guangzhou Advanced Maritime Academy has added a remote operated underwater vehicle (ROV) to their programme, as other institutions and companies in China, Korea, Hong Kong and other countries have invested in their equipment.

The throughput of cargo and containers at China’s ports has been the largest in the world for the past five years with an annual growth rate of 35%. The mission of the academy is to train people to work in this burgeoning field using the latest technology.

ROVs are now routinely employed in ports for inspection of ship’s hulls and propulsion systems. They are also used to appraise the integrity of piers, seawalls, and other underwater structures.

The underwater vehicle the academy selected is the SeaLion made by JW Fishers,USA. Another Chinese agency having purchased underwater search equipment is Tianjin Science Instruments and Equipment Corp.

The company has acquired a dual frequency side-scan sonar from Fishers. The system consists of a towfish with 100K and 600K transducers mounted on each side, 100 metres of tow cable, and a laptop computer running custom software.

The side scan produces detailed images of the bottom of a river, lake, or ocean. It allows the system operator to see the structure of the bottom (i.e. rocks, sand, mud) and any objects lying there, regardless of water clarity.

The sonar can perform a variety of functions from mapping navigable waterways, to searching for sunken vessels, and locating drowning victims.

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