Marport, a leading subsea acoustics technology company, announced today its DataSquid subsea data acquisition system at the Oceanology International 2008 conference. The new system is based upon Marport's Software Defined Sonar (SDS) technology platform and is designed for offshore energy and ocean science applications.
DataSquid is a software defined, subsea data acquisition system that integrates data collection, storage, data fusion and acoustic telemetry from up to 12 digital (RS-232/RS-485) and analog sensor inputs. The compact unit is designed for in-situ acquisition of a wide variety of subsea mechanical, thermal, optical, biological, chemical and magnetic phenomena in ocean environments down to 6,000 metres. It can also be used to control pumps, valves and other subsea electro-mechanical devices.
The state-of-the-art electronics, optimized for low power consumption, are designed for ambient temperatures from -2°C up to +50°C. The built-in 24 bit high performance A/D converter allows simultaneous measurement from up to 12 sensor inputs. Standard parameters include conductivity, temperature and depth. The integrated MEMS accelerometer and gyro can measure 6DOF movement up to 8G. The instrument can be supplied as a stand-alone device or interfaced to a suite of 3rd party sensors. Optional sensors include strain, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, methane, pH, C02 and others.
DataSquid transforms raw sensor data into a digital format, calibrates the signal and then transmits the data to a remote receiver. Its modular design is comprised of:
• universal sensor processor
• integrated sensing and measuring elements
• onboard micro-controller & DSP
• communications controller and transmitter/receiver
• self-contained lithium battery power supply
• interface to external sensors
• software for programming and communications
Up to 16 gigabytes can be stored to its internal SD memory card. Unit programming and data retrieval are accomplished via either SD-WiFi or Class 1 Bluetooth V2.0 without opening the instrument housing. The operating mode may be programmed to vary such characteristics as channels recorded, sampling rate, and recording interval. It can be programmed for logging to internal memory or for external, real-time subsea transmissions via wireless acoustic telemetry. It is also possible to "wake up" the DataSquid unit using an acoustic signal, so that it can wait in a very low power state while the instrument is not sampling.
All underwater wireless telemetry applications use water as the medium for transmitting acoustic signals. However, water is a wide channel into which an acoustic signal is broadcast. Even when the transmission is a narrow beam aimed at a target, the acoustic sound wave spreads out and generates echoes which arrive at the target at different intervals. These echoes are called "multipath" and require additional signal processing to ensure signal integrity.
DataSquid employs an advanced modulation scheme to overcome multipath, improve signal integrity and enhance underwater communications. It has an onboard digital signal microcontroller that processes signal data to minimize underwater noise and interference. This capability significantly enhances telemetry between DataSquid and the surface with a standard transmission range of 3,000 metres (6,000 metres optional) with standard transmission speed of 1 kbps (10 kbps optional).
DataSquid is the first subsea acoustic instrument to use broadband transducer technology to achieve significant gains in bandwidth, transmission speeds and range. Broadband transducers allow the device to adaptively "tune" to the best transmission frequency from a continuous spectrum, taking full advantage of the transducer's bandwidth. The instrument's ensures that its performance will increase as improvements in sensing and signal processing technologies evolve. This allows for fast, convenient upgrades to keep owners at the forefront in technology as well as protecting their equipment investment.
DataSquid's software-defined architecture is a significant change from the conventional designs as it enables the instrument logger to be used in a wide range of applications with infinitely programmable sampling, timing and system control functions. It can be reprogrammed "on-the-fly", enabling DataSquid to be a versatile, cost effective and future-proof data acquisition tool. A wide range of configurations are available including pressure housings, enclosures, battery packs, power supplies and peripheral sensors.
Long-term stability in combination with high accuracy, software defined functionality and a wide range of options makes DataSquid the ideal instrument for multi-function oceanographic observation applications. With DataSquid, unprecedented levels of functionality, reliability and sophistication can be now implemented at relatively low cost.