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More Public Safety Dive Teams Employ

JW Fishers Side Scan Sonars

    More public safety dive teams are adding sonar to assist in their underwater search and recovery operations. Side scan is the ideal tool for these operations because it produces detailed images of the underwater environment regardless of water clarity. In addition, the sonar is able to search large areas quickly, scanning several hundred feet of ocean, lake, or river bottom with each pass of the boat. The sonar does this by transmitting an acoustic beam from a towfish which sweeps the bottom and reflects off any objects lying there. The reflected beam returns to the fish and is sent topside where vivid color images are displayed and stored on a notebook computer. Connecting a GPS allows position coordinates to be captured with the sonar data. Side scan can easily locate a variety of targets including sunken boats, submerged vehicles, and drowning victims. An optional Splashproof computer with ultrabright display can be an essential item when operating from a small, open boat.

   One team that recently acquired a side scan is Grayson Fire Department in Kentucky. The department serves an area covering 90 square miles. Their dive team is responsible for search and recovery missions in 20 mile long Grayson Lake and surrounding waterways, where tragically 2 to 3 persons drown each year. To assist in searching such a large area, the team decided a side scan sonar would be a great asset.  With support from the community and assistance from New Horizons Dive Shop, the team raised the necessary funds and purchased a sonar.  The one they chose was JW Fishers SSS-600K side scan because it would give them the optimal combination of range and resolution. With five different range settings providing varying resolution, the 600K lets the operator tailor the system’s operation to meet the mission requirements. On the long range setting the sonar is capable of scanning a swath up to 200 feet wide on each side of the boat, most helpful when searching large areas. This setting is best when looking for bigger targets like a car that has gone off a bridge or a capsized pleasure craft. When looking for small or soft targets such as a drowning victim, shorter range settings are a better choice.  After completing a one day training session at Fishers factory team members returned home, and two days later they were out on Grayson Lake practicing with their new sonar. Lt. Kyle Morgan reported, “We can clearly see tires, lots of tree limbs, and several cinder blocks on the bottom. The images were quite impressive.”

   Two more departments that have added Fishers side scan sonars are the Iberville Parish Sheriffs Office in Louisiana and the New Bedford Police Department in Massachusetts.  Iberville Parish is located just south of Baton Rouge and includes 34 square miles of water, much of it bayou. The sheriffs department went with the single frequency SSS-600K  as it has all the range needed to work in small bodies of water, but also the high resolution needed to find small targets like drowning victims and weapons. Along with the sonar system they opted for the mapping software which shows the track of the boat as it runs a search grid and the size of the sonar swath, ensuring no part of the area is missed.  New Bedford is a coastal city with an active port and small airport.  The police chose the dual frequency SSS-100K/600K side scan which provides both detailed images of high frequency combined with the longer scanning range of  low frequency, an essential feature when searching large areas of open ocean looking for lost vessels or downed aircraft.  An adjustable transducer feature is available with the single frequency that allows the sonar to scan vertical structures making it an excellent tool to inspect ship’s hulls for compartments carrying drugs, or scan piers and bulkheads for explosives. After completing the training session Sgt. Jill Simmons, a longtime member of the department’s port security team reports “I’m very happy with the unit, and the guys loved it! Our group was already using Fishers TOV-1 towed video system and Pulse 8X metal detector and getting good results. When we got the funding for a side scan, their system was the obvious choice.”

   A few more of the many teams using Fishers side scan sonars are the Lowndes County Sheriffs Department in Georgia, the Oxnard Fire Department in California, the Aronac County Sheriffs Department in Michigan, the Livingston Parish Office of Homeland Security in Louisiana, the Pulaski County Sheriffs Office in Arkansas, and the National Search and Rescue Agency of Indonesia.  


Sempre più squadre di immersione di sicurezza stanno aggiungendo sonar per assistere nella loro ricerca subacquea e le operazioni di recupero. Side Scan è lo strumento ideale per queste operazioni, perché produce immagini dettagliate del ambiente subacqueo, indipendentemente dalla limpidezza dell'acqua. Inoltre, il sonar è in grado di ricercare rapidamente grandi aree, scansionare diverse centinaia di metri di oceano, un lago o fondo fiume ad ogni passaggio della barca. Il sonar lo fa trasmettendo un fascio acustico da un towfish che spazza il fondo e si riflette su tutti gli oggetti che si trovano lì. Il raggio riflesso ritorna al pesce e viene inviato parte superiore in cui le immagini con colori vividi sono visualizzati e memorizzati su un computer notebook. Collegamento di un GPS permette di coordinate di posizione di essere catturato con i dati sonar. Side Scan può facilmente individuare una serie di obiettivi tra cui navi affondate, i veicoli sommersi e le vittime annegamento. Un computer con display opzionale antispruzzo ultraluminosi può essere un elemento essenziale quando si opera da una piccola, canotto.   Una squadra che ha recentemente acquisito una scansione laterale è Grayson Vigili del fuoco in Kentucky. Il dipartimento serve un'area di 90 miglia quadrate. La loro squadra immersione è responsabile per missioni di ricerca e recupero in 20 km di lunghezza Grayson Lago e corsi d'acqua circostanti, dove tragicamente 2 a 3 persone annegano ogni anno. Per aiutare nella ricerca di una vasta area, il team ha deciso un sonar a scansione laterale sarebbe un grande vantaggio. Con il sostegno della comunità e assistenza da parte Dive Shop New Horizons, il team ha raccolto i fondi necessari e acquistato un sonar. Quello che hanno scelto era JW Fishers SSS-600K a scansione laterale, perché darebbe loro la combinazione ottimale di gamma e risoluzione. Con cinque diversi intervalli fornendo una risoluzione variabile, l'600K lascia il sarto operatore di funzionamento del sistema per soddisfare i requisiti di missione. Sul lungo raggio impostando il sonar è in grado di acquisire una fascia fino a 200 metri di larghezza su ciascun lato della barca, più utile durante la ricerca grandi superfici. Questa impostazione è la cosa migliore quando alla ricerca di grandi obiettivi come una macchina che è passato da un ponte o di una imbarcazione da diporto si è capovolta. Quando cerchi oggetti piccoli o morbida come una vittima annegamento, le impostazioni di gamma più brevi sono una scelta migliore. Dopo aver completato una sessione di allenamento un giorno alla Fishers i membri del team di fabbrica tornò a casa, e due giorni dopo erano sul lago di Grayson pratica con il loro nuovo sonar. Lt. Kyle Morgan ha riferito, "Possiamo vedere chiaramente i pneumatici, un sacco di rami degli alberi, cenere e blocchi diversi sul fondo. Le immagini erano piuttosto impressionante. "   Due reparti più che sono stati aggiunti Fishers sonar laterali di scansione sono Iberville Ufficio Parrocchiale sceriffi in Louisiana e il Dipartimento di Polizia di New Bedford, nel Massachusetts. Iberville Parish si trova a sud di Baton Rouge e comprende 34 chilometri quadrati di acqua, in gran parte bayou. Gli sceriffi reparto è andato con la singola frequenza SSS-600k in quanto ha tutta la gamma necessari per lavorare in piccoli corpi d'acqua, ma anche l'alta risoluzione necessaria per trovare obiettivi di piccole dimensioni come vittime di annegamento e di armi. Insieme al sistema sonar hanno optato per il software di mappatura che mostra la traccia della barca che corre una griglia di ricerca e la dimensione della falciata sonar, garantendo nessuna parte della superficie è perso. New Bedford è una città costiera, con un porto attivo e piccolo aeroporto. La polizia ha scelto la doppia SSS-100K/600K frequenza di scansione laterale che fornisce immagini dettagliate di entrambe ad alta frequenza in combinazione con la gamma più bassa frequenza di scansione, una caratteristica essenziale quando si cercano grandi aree di mare aperto alla ricerca di navi o di aeromobili persi abbattuto. Una caratteristica del trasduttore regolabile è disponibile con la singola frequenza che permette di eseguire la scansione sonar strutture verticali che lo rendono un ottimo strumento per controllare gli scafi delle navi per compartimenti o che trasportano farmaci, moli di scansione e paratie per gli esplosivi. Dopo aver completato la sessione di allenamento Sgt. Jill Simmons, un membro di lunga data della squadra porta del dipartimento di sicurezza riporta "Sono molto felice con l'unità, ei ragazzi è piaciuto moltissimo! Il nostro gruppo è stato già utilizzando Fishers TOV-1 sistema video da traino e Pulse metal detector 8X e ottenere buoni risultati. Quando siamo arrivati ​​i fondi per una scansione laterale, il loro sistema era la scelta più ovvia. "   A poco più di molte squadre utilizzano Fishers sonar a scansione laterale sono la Lowndes County Department sceriffi in Georgia, il Fire Department Oxnard in California, il Dipartimento dello sceriffo della contea di Aronac in Michigan, l'Ufficio Livingston Parish of Homeland Security in Louisiana, gli sceriffi Contea di Pulaski Ufficio in Arkansas, e la ricerca e l'Agenzia Nazionale Soccorso di Indonesia.


 Universities and Environmentalists

       Get Help from Underwater Cameras

 

Main photo: University of Maine graduate student Jennifer McHenry with SeaLion-2 ROV at Fishers factory. Inset: Deploying the DV-1 drop video

    More universities and environmental groups are using underwater video systems to assist in their research and monitoring operations. These cameras can be very useful tools in studying benthic habitats and marine organisms, and to monitor the impact of pollution on the environment.

   Darling Marine Center is the marine laboratory at the University of Maine. Home to world renown research and education, the facility is situated on the shores of the Gulf of Maine with its diverse intertidal habitats. Jennifer McHenry, a graduate student at the university’s School of Marine Science, is studying to become part of the new breed of marine scientists that will be tackling problems of how to  maintain the health and productivity of our oceans and waterways. This group will need to utilize all the high tech tools at their disposal if they are to be successful. One tool the university has acquired to assist these efforts is a remote operated vehicle (ROV). As part of her program McHenry researched the various types of ROVs available, their cost, and capabilities. After gathering information on several different models and presenting it to her professors, the group decided on JW Fishers SeaLion-2 with its four high performance thrusters, 1,000 foot depth rating, and two color cameras that pan and tilt.  Ms. McHenry came to Fishers factory to pick up the ROV and receive training on operation and maintenance of the system. Armed with this new equipment, she and her fellow students are now doing more “in depth” research and obtaining a better understanding of the ocean environment.

   Another school using the ROV is the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).  Their Institute of Marine Science is the oldest and largest unit of the School of Fisheries and Ocean Science. Much of their research focuses on arctic and Pacific subarctic waters, and their studies cover a wide range of disciplines with many national and international cooperative programs. UAF selected Fishers SeaOtter-2 to assist in their work as this ROV best fit their needs and the budget.  They also added the optional scanning sonar which allows the ROV operator to “see” what’s on the bottom in a 250 foot circle around the vehicle, regardless of water clarity. Terry Whitledge, one of the marine scientists responsible for the equipment, reports the ROV helps with the inspection and recovery of current meter moorings and in the exploration and study of shallow water sediments.

   At NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (GLERL) scientists are working to establish an ecological forecasting model for the Great Lakes. This effort involves predicting the effects of biological, chemical, physical, and human induced  changes on the ecosystem and its components. Their work encompasses a broad scope of factors including the impact of invasive species, affects of weather and climate change, and the links between physical, environmental, and biological processes. To aid in gathering data in the underwater environment, GLERL is using JW Fishers MC-1 mini camera. The 2 inch diameter, 8 inch long video system is equipped with high intensity LED light ring and can be lowered to the bottom, mounted on a helmet, or carried by a diver. The camera sends live video to the surface for viewing and recording. This inexpensive video system allows researchers to capture the interaction between species and their environment, and bring it back to the lab for further study.

   The tiny middle east country of Kuwait is wedged between neighboring giants Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and is bordered by the Persian Gulf. The desert kingdom is small only by geographic standards as it has the world’s 5th largest oil reserves and is the 11th richest country. It is also home to the world-class Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research. Part of the institute’s mission is to advise the government on scientific matters and policy issues. One of their main objectives is to identify the country’s natural resources, and determine the best ways to utilize them. With almost 500 km of coastline along the gulf, Kuwait has significant aquatic resources to protect and explore. The work is made easier with the use of Fishers DV-1 drop video. This underwater camera system can be lowered to depths up to 1,000 feet and is equipped with a PAL format color camera and four 100 watt lights. An On Screen Display system allows position coordinates to be displayed on the monitor and recorded with the video picture. With the DV-1 scientists can create a video record of the underwater environment and use it as a baseline for future studies.

   In the US Virgin Islands the National Park Service is very concerned about the impact of overfishing, encroachment of nonnative marine species, and sediment runoff. In a field station headquartered at the Biosphere Reserve on St. John, a group is investigating changes in the marine ecosystem and its causes. The research is a cooperative effort between the Parks Service, Jacksonville University in Florida and the Oceanic Institute in Hawaii. One of the tools being employed is Fishers TOV-1 towed video system. The torpedo shaped housing has a high resolution video camera mounted behind an acrylic dome and uses the power of the boat to move it through the water. The towed camera lets researchers conduct large scale video surveys in relatively short time.

   A few of the many other groups using Fishers ROVs and underwater video systems are US Environmental Protection Agency Atlantic Ecology Division, Monterey Peninsula College in California, the Environmental Agency of Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, California Dept of Fish and Game, Juniata College in Pennsylvania, and Southeastern Louisiana University.

   For more information on JW Fishers complete line of underwater search equipment go to www.jwfishers.com.

 

 

      

 

JW Fishers Mfg.  underwater video systems -(clockwise from top left)

MC-1 mini camera in helmet mount, SeaLion-2 ROV,

TOV-1 towed video system, DV-1 drop video.

 

JW Fishers has an underwater video system to fit almost every budget and application. The SeaLion-2 and SeaOtter-2 are high-performance, remote-controlled underwater vehicles with cameras in front and rear. The topside control console has a built-in, ultra-bright flat screen display and a hand-held controller to operate the complete system. These ROVs are the perfect tools for underwater inspections, scientific research, or search and recovery operations.   The TOV-1 is specially designed for towing to perform video search and survey operations.  The heavy duty housing has weighted skids on  the bottom to keep the camera down. Fins mounted on the rear make the system move through the water smoothly to ensure good quality video images.  The DV-1 drop video also has a rugged, commercial-grade housing with a high quality camera. This system is designed for downward viewing of the bottom, but side viewing is also possible.  The DV-1's two powerful 100 watt lights are mounted on outrigger arms to help disperse the light, and to prevent the housing from spinning, resulting in the best quality video images of the seafloor.  The economical and versatile MC-1 mini camera can be configured in a variety of ways from helmet mount, to pole mount, to diver-held.  Different light options are available including high intensity LED lighting and/or 100 watt quartz halogen lights.  All of Fishers underwater camera systems produce video that is accepted by Lloyd's of London.





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